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H. fi. W'OOD, 

("a GLASGOW merchant") 

Author o/\f^ 
"Heavenly LcveSnd Earthly Echoes^* "The Kinsman-Redeemer* 
" The Reason of Hope,'* " The Cross anf the Crown," etc. 








Hazell, Watson, & Viney, Printers, London and Aylesbury. 


" IV/r ORE light ! Oh, for more light ! " 

1 VX It was the cry of an aged matron who had 
long been, externally at least, a consistent follower of 
the Lamb of God. Overburdened by bodily disease 
which speedily brought her to the dust of death, and 
harassed by the remembrance of sins, both of omission 
and commission, her spirit was enveloped in a cloud 
of darkness. She had no need to utter the first 
pc&yer, which was once taught to a Highland kitchen- 
maid, "Lord, show me myself," Poor, and wretched, 
and miserable, and blind, and naked, she felt herself 
to be ; and her urgent and often repeated supplication 
for more light was practically the same as the second 
prayer which the Highland girl learned, to her ulti- 
mate joy, to offer, " Lord, show me Thyself." 

A Christian friend was sent for, and speedily visited 




|he disconsolate invalidi Discovering her need, he 
sought to turn her eyes away from self to Jesus,* and 
the Father whom He reveals. As the visitor spoke 
of the love of Jehovah, manifested in the sending of 
His only begotten Son into the world that we might 
live through Him, — of the love of the Eternal Son, 
shown by assuming our nature, and therein giving 
Himself as a ransom for sinners, — of the blood shed 
on Calvary which cleanseth from all sin, — of the call 
^ the Redeemer to come to Himself that we may find 
rest, — and of the assurance that whosoever cometh 
shall in no wise be cast out, — light from heaven shone 
again into the old matron's heart. " That's a great 
comfort," was ever and anon her utterance, as her 
friend stood beside her bed, and tried to exhibit the 
Highway of Salvation, free to her and to all. She 
began anew to encourage herself in the God of all 
grace, and rejoiced to the end in the faithful saying, 
that the Son of Man came into the world to seek and 
to save the lost. 

Not from within, but Trom without, not from self 
but from Christ, can blessed hope come to any heart. 
As we look to Him we find light and peace and joy. 
Love Divine, beaming with unspeakable holiness and 
beauty from the face of the Crucified, awakens love 
in our cold, dead natures, and changes us as we gaze 


I^FACE. 4 V ^ 

thereon* into the likeness of Jtself. "We all, with 
open face, beholding' as in a glass the glory of the 
Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to 
glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Cor. iii. 18.) 

To exhibit, and explain in simple language, the 
truth as to the way of Salvation, with its results in 
the case of believers, is the author's object in the 
following pages. Every chapter, while opening up its 
own particular theme, is practically an ' exposition, 
more or less ful>, of the main topic of the volume, — ^ 
and a large amount of original' and selected anec- 
dotes has been employed for the illustration and 
enforcement of the subject. 

May the Ever-Blessed Spirit take of the things of 
Christ which are presented here, and thereby enlighten 
many darkened understandings, so that they may know 
the hope of Christ's calling. And if this prayer is 
answered, the writer is assured that " at evening time 
it shall be light '* to all who welcome the comforting 
tidings. As Jasper Bolton, when very near the close 
of life, said to a friend who «ked him, " Is your faith 
strong ? *' they will each be at least enabled to reply, 
" No ; but my yesus is: I rejoice in Him greatly with 
a quiet joy.*' 


















AND ITS FRUITS. . . . • "5 






MANY years ago there lived a poor idiot in one 
of the southern counties of England. At the 
church of his native village he was a most regular 
attender, but as his bodily appearance was distress- 
ingly repulsive, some of the neighbours desired that 
he should be forbidden to enter the house of public 
prayer. The clergyman was, however, lanwilling to 
grant their request, and next Lord's day gave out as 
his text, Isaiah xxxv. 8 : " And an highway shall be 
there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of 
holiness; the uaclean shall not pass over it; but it 
shall be for those : the wayfaring men, though fools, 
shall not err therein.'* 

No sooner had the minister read these words as the 
subject of his discourse, than, altogether regardless of 


the surrounding audience, the poor idiot sprang to his 
feet, and clapping his hands for joy, exclaimed, "Then 
/ shall be saved ! Then / shall be saved ! '* 

The " highways and the " way^* refer to one and the 
same road. According to the original language, the 
comparison is suggested between a faint and easily ob- 
literated track through a sandy desert, and the highway 
of wljich the prophet speaks — a well-marked, direct, 
and open causeway, prepared with much expense and 
labour. The spiritual meaning is well explained by 
Gill in the words, ** A way cast up by sovereign grace, 
which is raised above the mire and dirt of sin, and 
carries over it and from it.*' 

Christ Himself is the way, as He declared to the 
inquiring Thomas : **I am the way . . . No man 
cometh unto the Father but by me." (John xiv. 6.) 
He is, indeed, the Father's way to us, as well as our 
way to the Father. 

The way is holy, " All have sinned and come short 
of the glory of God." " Cursed is every one that con- 
tinueth not in all things that are written in the book 
of the law to do them.'* (Rom. iii. 23; Gal. iii. 10.) 
But ** Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the 
law, being made a curse for us." "He once suffered 
for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring 
us to God." (Gal. iii. 13; i Peter iii. 18.) Through 
the obedience of the Lord Jesus unto death, even the 
death of the cross, divine justice is for ever satisfied 


for all who accept Him as their Saviour. By Christ*s 
doing and dying for sinners, the guiltiest may be 
saved, while the righteousness and truth of Jehovah 
are eternally glorified. 

The highway was infinitdy costly. Who shall mea- 
sure the humiliation of the step from the throne of 
glory to the manger, the cross, and the tomb ? Who 
shall ever be able to estimate what it cost the pure 
and spotless Redeemer to dwell amidst sinners for 
more than thirty years, and to drink at length the cup 
of wrath, which, because of the Father's love for 
human transgressors. He put into the hands of His 
only begotten and well-beloved Son? It was the 
Holy One and the Just who ** bare our sins in his 
own body on the tree." It was the Prince of Life 
who was slain for us — God in human form who ** put 
away sin by the sacrifice of himself." 

77u highway is open. No turnpike bars the travel- 
ler's advance. No tolls are levied upon it, \y\i\.free to 
all of every kindred and nation is the road to the 
Father's heart and home. " By this new and living 
way, which Christ hath consecrated (or new made) for 
us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and 
having Christ himself as the high priest over the 
house of God, let u$ draw near with a true heart in 
the full assurance of faith." (Hebrews x. 20 — 22,) 

** The unclean shall not pctss over it J' All honest 
travellers on this highway are already counted 


righteous, because they have put on the righteousness 
of Christ wherein to stand before the Lord. ** Accept- 
ed in the Beloved," they are withal fleeing from sin 
as the abominable thing which (jod hates, and are 
labouring and praying continually for the holiness 
without which no man shall enter Heaven. 

** // shall be for those'' Some say that this clause 
refers to the persons previously named in the chapter 
— the weak, the deaf and dumb, the blind and lame, 
whom God will heal and save. There is, however, 
another rendering : ^^ He'' {that is, God) '* shall be with 
them walking in the way." And if Jehovah -Jesus is 
their guide, ** the wayfaring men, though fools, shall 
not err therein." The way is very plain and straight 
to all who are humbly willing to follow the directions 
of Heaven. ** After that in the wisdom of God the 
world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by 
the foolishness of preaching to save them that 
believe." (i Cor. i. 21.) 

A poor wayfaring man belonging to the coast of 
Malabar had become deeply convinced of sin. He 
applied to certain priests for advice, and was directed 
to drive many blunted nails through his sandals, and 
on these instruments of torture to make an extended 
pilgrimage. His sufferings on the road, as well as the 
loss of blood, would, they said, atone for his guilt, and 
bring peace to his heart. He had accomplished many 
miles of his painful journey, when he was compelled 


to lie down and rest awhile under a wide spreading 
tree. While there, some missionaries appeared, and 
gathering a little audience, began to preach from the 
words, " The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all 
sin." The suffering traveller listened with very pecu- 
liar interest to the sermon. It was exactly what he 
required. Casting off his torturing sandals, he cried 
aloud, " That is what I want ;" and from that day he 
gave good evidence to all that he had entered on the 
highway of God*s salvation. 

That the free mercy of God in Christ is so simple 
and so cheering that even natural born fools may 
comprehend and rejoice in it, is illustrated by the 
anecdote at the beginning of this chapter. Let me 
present two additional instances of similar results : — 

A child of Scottish parentage was discovered, as he 
grew up, to be almost totally devoid of understanding. 
His loving and godly father and mother endeavoured 
in every possible way to awaken intelligence ; but to 
their great grief, he responded to their anxious efforts 
with only the idiot's vacant stare. Now and again, 
however, the boy seemed to feel how sad his parents 
were because they could teach him nothing, and then 
with a smile he would say, '' I'll sing you a song yet 
before I die." Where or how he had picked up this 
phrase they could not divine, but it really enwrapped 
a prediction of which the fulfilment was at length 


In spite of their want of success, the parents con- 
tinued to pray for the boy, and to bring before him 
the grand truth of the Gospel that " God hath com- 
mended his love towards us in that while we were 
yet sinners, Christ died for us.*' Years passed away, 
and the lad fell into declining health. It seemed 
plain that he was destined soon to leave this world, 
and father and mother redoubled their eflforts to 
throw some spiritual light into the darkened chamber 
of their child's understanding. Their pains and 
prayers were not in vain. The message of love 
divine awakened in the end a fitting response. It 
was as the parents watched by his dying bed that the 
boy's eyes suddenly beamed with intelligence, and 
his face was lighted up with joy. He sat up, and 
exclaimed — 

" Glorious ! grand ! what do I see ? 
Three in One, and One in Three, 
And the middle One, He died for me." 

It was the last effort of expiring nature. The lad 
sank back upon his pillow, and breathed no more. 

Where no other truth could find a lodgment, the 
truth as it is in Jesus made its way, and was gladly 
welcomed. The boy's utterance recalls to mind the 
saying of Paul in regard to his own experience : " I 
live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and 
gave himself for meJ^ 


By the early death of his poor parents, another 
idiot boy was left utterly unprovided for, in a village 
in the upper parts of Ayrshire. The parochial 
authorities boarded the orphan with a decent old 
widow, under whose care he grew up almost into 
young manhood — ^well, so far as the body was con- 
cerned, but with only an occasional and fitful gleam 
of intelligence to indicate the existence of mind. 
Though he could apparently be taught nothing, the 
lad would not remain away from church upon any 
considerat^pn ; but little was it suspected that even 
with him the entrance of God's word could give light 

Sickness, apparently unto death, confined the youth 
to his humble bed for several Sabbaths. One of the 
office bearers of the congregation, learning the cause 
of absence, visited him, and endeavoured to teach 
him something about the way of salvation, but could 
not get a word of sense from the patient, or convey to 
him a single idea. The clefgyman was appealed to, 
and went to visit the lad. Drawing a stool quietly to 
the bedside, the minister spoke kindly to the sufferer, 
and after a little asked him if he knew he had a soul. 
" O, no, sir, I have no soul,*' was the answer, given 
with a shake of the boy's head. " Yes, my lad," con- 
tinued the minister, "you have a soul — a soul that will 
be joyful with the Saviour for ever in our heavenly 
Father's happy home, or be cast down into the pit of 
woe with the devil and his angels." 


As the minister spoke, the vacant stare gave place 
to a look indicating comprehension. A smile passed 
over the poor youth's face, and he responded thus : 
** I once had a soul, sir, but I have no soul now, for I 
gave it away to Christ to keep, one day, at the back of 
the tree down in the meadow. Ever since that, I have 
had no soul of my own." Doubtless the All-gracious 
Friend of the needy took charge of the precious 
deposit, and the lad was at rest in the knowledge of 
the Redeemer's promise to preserve all who cast their 
care on Him. Was not his utterance an echo of the 
words addressed to the Corinthians : " Ye are not your 
own^ for ye are bought with a price '? and a copying 
of the example of the Apostle of the Gentiles as 
depicted in his language to Timothy : ** I know whom 
I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to 
keep what I have committed unto him against that 
day " ? 

To an averment of the simplicity of the truth as it 
is in Jesus, a great scholar once objected in most 
imperative terms : — **I have read the Bible over and 
over in the original languages ; I have studied it day 
and night ; I have written criticisms and comments 
upon it, and it is a very extraordinary thing that I 
should not be able to discover that meaning in the 
Scriptures, which is said to be so plain, that a way- 
faring man^ though a fool^ shall not err in discovering 


'* Yes," replied Cecil, to whom this statement had 
been reported, ** // is extraordinary ^ till we open this 
Bible, and there we see the fact explained. The 
man, who approaches the Word of God in his own 
wisdom, shall not find what the fool shall discover 
under the teaching of Divine wisdom; for it is 
written, * I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and 
will bring to nothing the understanding of the pru- 
dent \ * and * God hath chosen the foolish things of 
the world to confound the wise.* *' (i Cor. i.) 

The celebrated Countess of Huntingdon used to 
thank God for the letter " M *' in i Cor. i. 26. 
There it is stated that " not many wise men after the 
flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called." 
If the verse had said that not any such were called, 
her hope had perished ; but she was indeed one of the 
" not many noble " who, having learned the truth at 
the feet of Jesus, could sing with Paul, "We also joy 
in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we 
have now received the atonement." (Rom. v. 11.) 

No one who confesses his ignorance, and gives 
himself up continually to Christ to be guided by the 
Divine Word and Spirit, need be afraid of missing, or 
straying from the highway of salvation. For him the 
faithful promise has been recorded : — " The meek 
will he guide in judgment, and t^e muk will he teach 
his way'' (Psalm xxv. 9.) Without doubt, the gate is 
straight, and the way narrow \ but it is only man's 


pride and love of sin that make them so. The door 
is wide open for our return, and the way will be found 
delightfully pleasant by all who turn their backs on the 
paths in which destroyers go, and run into the out- 
stretched arms of our Father's everlasting love. 

The roads leading to perdition are numberless, but 
there is only One Highway of Salvation, (Acts iv. 12.) 
We enter on it, and walk in it by receiving and rest- 
ing on Christ alone for. deliverance from wrath and 
sin, as He is offered to us in the testimony of God. 


Wijt lUg of Sifstimong. 



IT was a cloudy and dark day in David's experi- 
ence. His enemies — ^the foes of God's chosen 
people — ^were harassing his kingdom ; and there seemed 
to be a frown on the face of the Almighty Himself. 
With much thus discouraging and depressing him, 
where did he seek and find comfort? Only in the 
promise of Him who is called Faithful and True. To 
Israel there had been given assurances of permanent 
settlement in the land of Canaan, in its fullest extent, 
and of victory over all surrounding nations who should 
wickedly disturb them in its possession-. To David 
himself it had been promised that his rule should be 
established over all the tribes, and his son succeed 
him in the dominion. Therefore did the son of Jesse 
encourage himself in God in the midst of calamity 
and trouble. Vain was the help of man ; but with 
the Lord on the side of Israel and Israel's king, suc- 
cess must at length crown their efforts. Grasping in 
his time of need all the promises suited to his case. 


his faith burst out in the triumphant words of the 
sixtieth Psalm : '* God hath spoken in his hoUness ; 
I will rejoice. I will divide Shechem, and mete out 
the valley of Succoth. Gilead is mine, and Manasseh 
is mine ; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head ; 
Judah is my lawgiver ; Moab is my wash-pot j over 
£dom will I cast out my shoe." 

According to the title of the psalm, we believe the 
king directed this exultant melody to be taught to his 
people. Probably his soldiers went to the attack of 
the strong city of Edom singing the bold confiding 
words. The result was a great defeat of the descend- 
ants of Esau. " Throughout all Edom,'* as we are 
informed in 2 Sam. viii., " put he garrisons, and all 
they of Edom became David's servants." Faith won 
the day, because it glorified Him who invited its exer- 
cise. Had Jehovah not promised, where had faith 
found firm footing ? But with the sure word of Him 
who is the Rock of Ages beneath its feet, was there 
not reason fbr its resolute and buoyant tread ? " God 
hath spoken in his holiness ; I will rejoice." 

The title of this psalm also tells us that it was ad- 
dressed to the chief musician, no doubt as a sacred 
song to be used in the temple-worship. It is called 
MUhtaniy which some critics say means a mystery y 
others a golden psalm. We are for the present, how- 
ever, most concerned about its particular theme or 
subject, which is declared to be Shushan-eduth^ or 


the Lily of Testimony, As to the writer's meaning 
in this epithet, we may perhaps get a hint in the 
seventy-eighth Psalm. It is there said that the Lord 
" established a testimony in Judah, and appointed a 
law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that 
they should make them known to their children . . . 
that they might set their hope in God'' The Testi- 
mony I take then to be, in special, the record of those 
gracious promises which were uttered for the beget- 
ting and strengthening of faith ; and in this aspect 
there is a peculiar force and beauty in designating it 
the Lily, More lovely and more fragrant indeed to the 
spiritual senses than the lily to the natural, is God's 
testimony of grace and goodness to sinners. Full oft 
had David found it so, as well as when he penned the 
sixtieth Psalm. Condescending too, like the lily of the 
valley, to the very lowliest, is the mercy which bring- 
eth forgiveness. Mungo Park was once greatly com- 
forted by a tiny tuft of moss on, which his eye fell, 
when weary, worn, and sad, in the African desert; 
but very life from the dead is the sight and sweet 
scent of the lily of God's testimony, when its beauty 
and its savour greet the spirit of a man despairing 
because of his sin and utter unworthiness. 

The case of Colonel Gardiner, who died little more 
than a century ago, affords us an apt illustration. He 
was awakened in the midst of a wicked life by an ex- 
traordinary dream. He thought he beheld Christ on 


tHe cross dying in agony; and as he gazed on the 
amazing spectacle, a voice seemed to sound in his ear 
the words, '* O sinner, did I suffer this for thee, and 
are these thy returns ? " With conscience thus aroused, 
terrible convictions filled him with fear. ** He was 
ready,** under his anguish of mind, it is said, '* to drop 
down in unutterable astonishment and agony of heart, 
appearing to himself the vilest monster in the crea- 
tion of God, who had all his lifetime been crucifying 
Christ afresh by his sins.** For months he walked 
in darkness and dread ; but at length the day of sal- 
vation dawned in his heart. Hope awoke within him 
through the words of the Most High : " Whom God 
hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his 
blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission 
of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God ; 
to declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness ; that 
he might be just, and the justifier of him which 
believeth in Jesus** (Rom. iii. 25, 26). From the 
hour when he realized their blessed import, his anxiety 
fled. The love that passeth knowledge constrained 
him to a life of loving devotion to his Father in 
Jesus. God had spoken in His holiness \ and in 
God*s promise Colonel Gardiner rejoiced. 

Frequently does the Word of the Lord reveal the 
disease and the cure almost simultaneously ; and the 
soul, grasping the truth, beholds its own lost condi- 
tion, and the glorious freeness of the salvation of 


Christ, with scarce an interval between. God speaks 
in His holiness, and shows the heart itself and its 
Saviour ; and at once it takes up the song of rejoicing. 
On one occasion many people were observed crowd- 
ing towards the door of a church in a little town in 
Scotland. A woman of the town, notorious for all 
manner of wickedness, learning that a clergyman from 
England was to preach, turned her steps towards the 
house of prayer. The officiating minister was the 
celebrated Andrew Fuller. As he read out his text, 
the woman's attention was arrested. It was in Isaiah 
xlv. 22, " Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends 
of the earth ; for I am God, and there is none else." 
** Surely, then," thought she, " there must be hope even 
for me ! Wretch that I am, I am not beyond the ends 
of the earth." Every word she drank in eagerly, 
while the preacher unfolded the way of salvation. 
God's call and God's promise awakened hope within 
her ; and trusting in the Saviour with all her heart, 
she learned from that hour to live to Him who died to 


save her. 

As quickly as in this woman's soul, did faith and 
hope spring to life in the case of a wicked young 
soldier. The tears and holy example of his widowed 
mother, and the warnings and teachings of his 
minister, had been all in vain. For a considerable 
period he had lived a dissolute life, and at length 
enlisted. His regiment was sent to a foreign land. 


After he had been some years there, spending himself 
in the service of Satan, he received a present from 
his mother. She had sent it, when on her dying bed, 
by a godly man who was going to the place where her 
son's regiment was stationed. It was a little pocket 
Bible, and the verbal request — the last she would ever 
make — accompanied it, that he would for her sake 
read one verse, at least, every day. " Well, that is 
not much," said the wild youth ; " so here goes." 
He opened at the close of the eleventh of Matthew, 
and his eye fell on the words, " Come unto me, all 
ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give 
you rest." 

" Well,'* said he, ** this is very odd. I have opened 
at the only verse in the Bible that I could ever learn 
by heart when I was in the Sabbath school ; I never 
could, for the life of me, commit another. It is very 
strange ! But who is this * Me^ that is mentioned in 
the verse ? " 

The friend that brought the Bible and the message 
from his mother, told the young man all about the 
God-man Redeemer ; how He left the Father's bosom 
that He might die to save us ; how He is now at the 
right hand of God, the Lamb as it had been slain ; 
how He is able to save to the uttermost all that 
come to Him, and to God by Him, seeing He ever 
liveth to make intercession for us. The heart of the 
young man was touched. He yielded at once to the 



invitation of Jesus, when he understood who called 
him, and his walk and conversation were thenceforth 
such as became the Gospel. Rejoicing in the same 
sweet invitation and promise, he met his death on the 
field of battle. When those intrusted with the burial 
of the dead found him, his head was pillowed on his 
Bible lying open at the words, " Come unto me, and 
I will give you rest." 

There is no preparation of any kind required by any 
sinner before coming to the Saviour, and hoping in 
Him. God's testimony that He is in Christ recon- 
ciling the world unto Himself, not imputing unto men 
their trespasses, and His invitation to whosoever will^ 
are surely a sufficient warrant. Many, however, are 
like the Jews, who, when directed by our Lord to 
believe on Him whom the Father had sent to save, 
said, "What sign shewest thou then, that we may 
see, and believe thee ? " I have known some who 
expected to behold a vision of Christ on the cross in 
order to discover that the Lord was willing to receive 
and forgive them \ and others have told me that their 
ground of confidence that they had been truly con- 
verted was, that, after days of darkness, they some- 
how felt suddenly lighter and happier while attending 
a prayer-meeting, or singing God's praise, though they 
could not condescend on a single Bible truth as the 
occasion of their oorafort. Peace thus obtained is 
baseless, and soon vanishes. Even though we had 


signs from heaven, as real and magnificent as the 
transfiguration of the Saviour on the mount, they 
would not be at all comparable, as grounds of faith, 
to the **more sure word of prophecy," which the 
Bible affords. The effect of visions, or other manifes- 
tations from the spirit world, is often but transitory. 
We are apt to question afterwards what was said or 
what was meant, or even to doubt as to the reality of 
what we supposed we saw or heard ; but God's testi- 
mony commending His love to us in Christ, we can 
recur to at all times. The promise, on which the 
Holy Spirit caused us to hope last week, or last year, 
we can read again to-day. It is fresh and bright and 
fragrant as a full-blown lily. Whether for the begetting 
of faith, or its renewal when in decadence, there is 
nothing like a consideration of the Divine letter, re- 
vealing and repeating in so many touching forms the 
love of our Father in Heaven, and pressing upon us 
so anxiously the acceptance of the unspeakable gift. 

A young woman said once to her minister when on 
her dying bed : " I have little to relate as to my ex- 
perience. I have been much tried and tempted ; but 
this has been my sheet-anchor, — He has said, * Him 
that Cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.* I know 
I come to Him, and I expect He will be as good as 
His word. Poor and unworthy as I am. He will not 
trifle with me; it would be as much beneath His 
greatness as His goodness." 


Is there one reader of these pages who knows not 
yet what it is to have peace of conscience and joy in 
God? Let him try this young woman's way of 
resting simply on the testimony of the Almighty, and 
expecting therefore salvation from Jesus. It is the 
royal, the only road to ease of heart. " We which 
have believed do enter into rest." 

Many real Christians give themselves much un- 
happiness by partially forgetting or shifting the ground 
of their confidence. They slide into the habit of 
looking to their frames and feelings, and through them 
to Christ. They become thus "like one who sees 
the sun on " rippling " water." The light " quivers 
and moves as the water moves; but he that looks 
upon Jesus in the mirror of the Word by faith; Sees 
Him ever the same. Whether we have sensible 
comfort or not, our faith should be fixed nakedly on 
nothing but the Word of the living God," and on the 
Saviour of whom it tells. Not our feelings, not our 
doings, but free grace, reigning through righteousness 
and testified in the Gospel, is the ground of confidence 
and the source of consolation. ** God hath spoken 
in his holiness ; I will rejoice." 

To the Rev. John Brown of Haddington a clergy- 
man once put a question, as to the best method to 
obtain relief when like to be overwhelmed in the 
pulpit with a sense of his great sinfulness. Mr. 
Brown gave a memorable reply. ** Attempt then," 


said he, "to believe — just as a sinner — as the chief 
of sinners. Those promises have been sweetest to me 
which extend to men if they are hut out of helL ' It is 
a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that 
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of 
whom I am chief.' Once these words were sweet to 
my soul. I thought, bad as I was, I could not be 
worse than the chief of sinners. Conscience said that 
I was the most wicked wretch that ever breathed, and 
that I had shown myself to be such, especially by 
rebelling against convictions, and by trampling on 
Christ's alluring words; yet, since Christ came to 
save sinners, even the chief, why, thought I, should I 
except myself?" 

In the fight against sin, nothing nerves the soul for 
doing stern battle like the presence of the Lily of 
Testimony, — a right understanding and simple accept- 
ance of the truth as it is in Jesus. That word, " Thou 
shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his 
people from their sins : " or that other, " Sin shall 
not have dominion over you; for ye are not under 
the law, but under grace," will help us marvellously, 
when recalled to our remembrance in time of need. 
Luther tells of a German divine who acknowledged 
that he never could overcome a special heart-sin, 
though he had resolved a hundred times against it, 
till he came to understand the free grace of Christ 
He had trusted to his own resolutions, but his strength 


was as tow before a flame. When, however, by faith 
he grasped his Saviour in the promises of the Gospel, 
he obtained the victory. Whoever wishes, then, to over- 
come sin and Satan, let him display the banner which 
is offered to his hand, and which exhibits, in golden 
letters on an azure ground, the words, " God hath spoken 
in his holiness; I will rejoice." Marching underneath 
that flag of salvation, his foes will flee before him. 

When beset with the heaviest cares of earth, it is 

the same blessed word — the Lily of Testimony — that 

cheers and sustains the believer's heart. What depths 

of comfort in the declaration, " Your Father knoweth 

that ye have need of these things " 1 and in the 

assurance, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your 

Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.*' 

Paul Gerhardt, the admirable German hymn-writer, 

was once driven from his parish and home by the 

Elector of Brandenburg, because he preached the 

doctrine of free grace. With his weeping wife and 

children he went forth, not knowing whither he went. 

In his wanderings he came to a little country inn. 

Leaving his family there, he sought the recesses of a 

dark wood at a little distance, that he might bethink 

himself and pray. Engaged thus, the familiar text 

flashed into his mind, "Commit thy way unto the 

Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass." 

His distress was gone at once. God had spoken in 

His holiness; and His trusting child was rejoicing. 


But a few hours had he to wait with glad expectancy 
for the coming deliverance. The Lord sent another 
German prince to oflfer him a better place than he 
had lost, with full liberty to proclaim the good tidings 
of great joy. 

All the promises of God are absolutely sure and 
certain in Christ Jesus, who is freely oflfered to all in 
the Gospel. Embracing Christ in the promises, or 
the promises in Christ, we hold the Almighty by an 
indissoluble bond. The two immutable things, God's 
oath confirming Gods promise^ are pledged to us ; and 
if God has thus spoken, should not believers rejoice ? 
How confidently men can rely on the word of each 
other I If a man, somewhat proved to be upright, 
has made a solemn promise to us, we cling to it, 
hoping often against hope. Though he and we 
should be separated far as the poles asunder, if we 
know he is in life, we keep expecting the performance 
of his engagement. And if sinful, dpng worms can 
be thus trusted, oh, how much more should we firmly 
embrace, and hopefully expect the fulfilment of, the 
promises of God's loving-kindness ! 

•* He has power, and can fulfil ; 
He is truth, and therefore wiU.*' 

Grandly did the* old Scottish believer, of whom Dr. 
Brown tells us in his Hor(B Subsecivce, respond to the 
challenge of her pastor, regarding the ground of her 


confidence. "Janet," said the minister, "what would 
you say if, after all He has done for you, God should 
let you drop into hell?" "E'en*s [even as] He 
likes,** answered Janet : " if He does. He'll lose mair 
than I'll do." 

At first sight Janet's reply looks irreverent, if not 
something worse. As we contemplate it, however, 
its sublimity bursts and grows upon us. Like the 
Psalmist, she could say, " I on thy word rely " (Ps. 
cxix. 114, metrical version). If His word were broken, 
if His faithfulness should fail, if that foundation could 
be destroyed, truly He would lose more than His 
trusting child. But that could never be. " For ever, 

Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faith- 
fulness is unto all generations.'* Well, then, might 
Janet encourage herself in the Lord her God, and say, 
" God hath spoken in his holiness ; I will rejoice.** 

On my dying pillow, I crave for no other spiritual 
refreshment than this, the Lily of Testimony. While 

1 live, I would like to fix it on my breast, as the 
livery of my Divine Master, and the minister of con- 
solation and strength. As I inhale its sweet fragrance, 
my soul shall joy in CJod. In life and in death, I 
would cleave unto it, as the revealer of Him who is 
all my salvation, and all my desire. 

"He that hath received his [Christ's] testimony 
hath set to his seal that God is true." On the other 
hand, " He that believeth not God hath made him a 


liar, because he believeth not the record that God 
gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God 
hath given to us eternal life \ and this life is in his 

Will the reader say, at the bar of his own con- 
science, and as in the presence of the Judge of all, 
whether he is, or is not, making God a liar ? If he 
has not yet taken God at His word, and accepted the 
gift of eternal life in Jesus, may he do so now ; and 
henceforth he will be able rightly to sing with David, 
** God hath spoken in his holiness ; I will rejoice." 

-*■- -- 




ONE of the greatest hindrances to the exercise of 
faith is the spirit of legalism which is natural to 
fallen man. It looks at God only through the law. 
When the soul, feeling its guilt, dreads the punish- 
ment which the law threatens, then the legal spirit 
cries, ** What must I do to be saved ? " And when 
the consideration is how heaven is to be attained, the 
same spirit asks, " What shall I do to inherit eternal 
life ? '' 

This legality in the heart is the offspring of ignorance 
and self-conceit. It does not know God, and there- 
fore it distrusts Him. It has never realized its own 
utter inability to accomplish anything absolutely good, 
and therefore it fancies it can work so as to satisfy the 
demands of the divine law. 

What, then, is the true revelation which Jehovah 
has made of Himself? How does He draw near the 
sinner, so as to beget confidence towards God in 


the self-condemned soul? A simple anecdote may 
perhaps assist some anxious heart to a clear under- 
standing of the state of the case : — 

Nearly forty years ago, a pious ypung clergyman of 
Hamburg felt his bosom yearning with desire to 
rescue from ruin some of the wild young blackguards 
of that city. He and a few like-minded friends waited 
upon God in prayer continually till He sent the means 
to open a little Reformatory. Thither Wichem, the 
young minister, removed his mother, and took up 
house with a dozen of rough, hardened lads, bom and 
bred in crime. "He shut himself up with them,'* 
says the Rev. W. F. Stevenson, "in the hope of 
winning hold upon their wild natures. They were 
mostly hopeless incorrigibles, given up by everybody 
who had tried a hand upon them. What will he do 
with these vicious, hardened beings ? How shall they 
be won from the old ways, and become gentle, 
teachable, sober, busy, honest? Only by loving 
them. One special difficulty was their distrust. 
When Wichem kindly reached out his hand to 
welcome a lad one day, he drew his quickly back 
lest he should be stmck. Kindness seemed to them 
only a cunning disguise, under which some mysterious 
project for their hurt lay hidden. They watched 
every act with a suspicion that was quickened by all 
they had hitherto known of life. How was this 
distrust overcome? Wichem assured them of an 


entire forgiving and forgetting of the past ; that there 
livas to be no punishment for anything they had ever 
done ; and that his mother was to be their mother, 
his home their home. They heard and gazed in 
amazement. But as time wore on, and they found it 
was true, their whole heart warmed to their new life. 
Love was the atmosphere of the house ; and the 
harshness of their own experiences gradually gave way 
to it, until the same spirit was wakened among them- 

This earthly thing is a picture of God's method of 
driving out terror and distrust from our natures. 
** Behold," said the angelic messenger, " I bring you 
good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 
For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a 
Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." "In this was 
manifested the love of God toward us, because that 
God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that 
we might live through him. Herein is love, not that 
we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son 
to be the propitiation for our sins." '* God was in 
Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imput- 
ing their trespasses unto them ; and hath committed 
unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are 
ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you 
by us : we pray you in Christ's steady be ye reconciled to 
God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who 
knew no sin ; that we might be made the righteousne^ 



of God in him." ** Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and thou shalt be saved.'* * 

Jehovah is thus love itself: and yet He is ever 
just, even while the justifier of the greatest sinner 
that believes in Jesus. It is only our ignorance of 
His holy love, and of the Saviour freely offered in the 
Gospel to whosoever will, which leads us to dread 
Him with the terror of the slave. In his Fulfilling of 
the Scriptures, Mr. Fleming mentions the case of a 
most hardened criminal that was sentenced to be 
executed in the town of Ayr. The Lord convinced 
him of his sin, and thereafter so revealed His Divine 
mercy, as exhibited in the crucified Redeemer, that 
on his way to the scaffold the man could not help 
crying out, " Oh, He is a great forgiver ! He is a great 
forgiver /'* And then he added, " Now hath perfect 
love cast out fear. I know God hath nothing to say 
against me, for Jesus Christ hath paid all; and those 
are free whom the Son makes free." 

Do we desire to be made partakers of the same 
happy confidence? Let us go often to Bethlehem, 
and gaze on the Infant of days laid in the manger ; td 
Gethsemane, and contemplate the God-man sweating 
great drops of blood ; to Calvary, and stand in awe 
at our incarnate Creator dying that He might atone 
for our guilt: and surely we shall grow into the 

• See Luke ii., lo-ii ; i John iv., 9-10; 2 Cor. v., 19-21 ; 
Acts xvi., 31. 


knowledge of the character of our God and Father, 
and find His perfect love casting out all our slavish 
fear. A»d yet we shall grow in anotlier kind of fear — 
the fear of offending Him whose love makes our hearts 
bound with gladness. We shall hate and dread sin 
with an ever-deepening intensity, even when our 
joyous voices swell the chorus — " O Lord, I will praise 
thee : though thou wast angry with me, thine anger 
is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, 
God is my salvation ; I will trust and not be afraid : 
for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; 
he also is become my salvation." 

Is there one reader who has not yet believed the 
love that God hath to us? You must, dear friend, be 
very, unhappy when you think of Him who cannot 
pass by transgression, and of the day of death and 
judgment. True it is that your sin must be punished, 
either in yourself, or in another capable of becoming 
your surety and substitute. "Without shedding of 
blood is no remission." God Himself hath, however, 
provided a Lamb, His only begotten Son, for a burnt 
offering. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we 
have turned everyone to his own way ; and the Lord 
hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." " Through 
this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of' 
sins : and by him all that believe are justified from- 
all things, from which ye could not be justified by 
the law of Moses." Receive not then the grace of 


God in vain. He makes known to you His com- 
passionate love in Jesus. Do you believe it? Are 
you willing to accept God's free pardon? Do you 
close with His offered love in Christ? Then you 
are forgiven all trespasses. You are accepted in 
the Beloved. ** It is God that justifieth : who is he 
that condemneth ? " 

And now, that we may advance a step in the con- 
sideration of our subject, let us rehearse the experience 
of one who became a great preacher of the truth as it 
is in Jesus : — " I lay," said Martin Boos, " I lay for 
years together upon the cold ground, though my bed 
stood near me ; I scourged myself till the blood came, 
and clothed my body with a hair shirt ; I hungered, 
and gave my bread to the poor ; I spent every leisure 
moment in the precincts of the Church; I confessed 
and communicated every week." Boos, moreover, 
gave himself an immense deal of trouble to lead 
what he thought was a holy life, and by every one who 
knew him he was accounted a saint. The saint, how- 
ever, was miserable, and could not but cry dolefully, 
** O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me? " 
Going to see a pious old woman on her death-bed, he 
said wistfully, " Ah I you may well die in peace ! " 
**Why?" inquired she. "Because you have lived 
such a godly life," answered Boos. " What a miserable 
comforter ! " said the old woman, smiling ; " if Christ 
had not died for me, I should have perished for ever, 


with all my good works and piety. Trusting in 
Him, I die at peace." These words gave new 
light to his soul. God's way of peace, through 
the blood of His Son, was understood and accepted 
joyfully. Henceforth the joy u» the Lord was his 

This story brings out both the aspects of legalism, — 
guilty dread of God, and great efforts to work out a 
righteousness that will secure His favour. It toils that 
it may merit love, and knows nothing of free love, 
already welcomed and enjoyed, as a motive power in 
the heart. It looks ever at what it can do for God, 
not at what God does for us, and offers to us. It 
clings to its own worthless doings as a covering in 
God's sight, and rejects the clothing of wrought gold 
— ^the perfect obedience of Christ — the only wedding 
garment which is fit to be seen at the marriage-supper 
of the Lamb. It can render no loving service, for in 
its eyes God is only a hard taskmaster. Measuring 
Him by its own narrow, selfish nature, it cannot com- 
prehend that " they are dearer to God that seek some- 
thing from Him, than they who strive to bring some- 
thing to Him." Therefore, it forces itself to yield a 
wretched, halting, heartless service, with the view of 
buying blessings from heaven, and refuses the free 
jgift of pardon and peace, love and life, the child's 
place and the child's new nature in and through Jesus 


Paul describes the error of this spirit of legality, 
and exhibits the only true ground of hope, when he 
says, '* The Jews being ignorant of God's righteous- 
ness, and going about to establish their own righte- 
ousness, have not submitted themselves unto the 
righteousness of God; for Christ is the end of the 
law for righteousness to every one that believeth." 
(Romans x., 3, 4.) In other words, when I take the 
Lord Jesus as my Redeemer, not only are my sins 
then forgiven because of His sufferings, but I am at 
once and for ever accepted by the Father, on account 
of the perfect obedience which my Saviour rendered 
on earth to the holy law. He is the Lord my Righte- 
ousness, provided for me by my Father's love ; and 
hiding in Him, my Father is ever well pleased with 
me. I require not to serve that I may win the place 
of a child ; but becoming a child at once when I lay 
hold on Christ as my Saviour, I delight in serving my 
loving Father. The service cumbers not It is not a 
toil for wages or mere reward, but a daily thank-oflfer- 
ing from a heart that knows and believes the infinite 
love that Go3 hath to us. 

The prodigal's first thought (Luke xv.) as he rumi 
nated over his contemplated return to his father's house 
was, in the spirit of legalism, to offer himself as a 
" hired servant ; " but the gushing tenderness of his 
parent's love at once buried all his distrust, and 
bound him soul and body to the promotion of his 


father's pleasure, by bonds such as no mere worker 
for wages ever knew. 

Even when we have been begotten again to a lively 
hope, the spirit of legalism requires to be watched and 
prayed against, like every other lust of the old man. 
If we have been distinguished in any way by sovereign 
grace, it will try to exalt us above measure, as if we 
ivere somethings and had some meritorious claim on 
God ; and when such a result as self-glorifying is ap- 
prehended by the Great Physician, He may deem it 
necessary to permit a messenger of Satan to buffet us. 
A stnner saved by grace is the highest style and title 
of the noblest of God's family on earth. The farthest 
advanced in the Divine life will be most ready to con- 
fess himself with Paul as " the chief of sinners," and 
to rejoice in the faithful saying that it was the lost 
whom Christ Jesus came to save. 

When Dr. Carey, the celebrated Indian missionary, 
was supposed to be dying, he was asked what should 
be the text of his funeral sermon. ** Oh," said he in 
reply, ** I feel that such a poor sinful creature as I am 
is unworthy to have anything said about him ; but if a 
funeral sermon should be preached, let it be from the 
51st Psalm and the first verse, * Have mercy upon 
me, O God, according to thy loving kindness ; ac- 
cording to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot 
out my transgressions.' " When his will was opened, 
it was found to contain the following instruction to 



his executors : — " I direct that my funeral be as plain 
as possible, and that the following inscription, and 
nothing more, be put on my gravestone : — 

William Carey, 
Bom Aug. 17, 1761 ; Died 

'A guilty, weak, and helpless worm, 
On Thy kind arms I fall.* " 

A labourer in God's vineyard at home, who had' 
been much blessed in his work for Christ, once visited 
a young lady who was dying under a slow but mortal 
disease. He spoke to her of having hope of heaven 
to comfort the heart, when leaving this world behind ; 
and she replied, ** You may well have hope, you who 
have laboured so much for Jesus." Tears filled the 
eyes of her visitor. " Alas ! alas ! " he said, ** you are 
much mistaken. I feel my nature so corrupt that I 
would not like any creature to see within. Only to 
my gracious God can I unveil all, that He may send 
me health and cure. I cannot remember a sinless 
day, or an untainted action. My best thoughts, and 
words, and deeds have been defiled. But though I 
had a righteousness of my own working, had I even 
the righteousness of the angel Gabriel to deck myself 
with, I would put all oif at once, if I might put on the 
righteousness of Christ. It possesses infinite merit, 
as the obedience to the death of the Almighty Law- 
giver to His own law. I count all but dung that I 


may win Christ, and be found in Him, covered with 
the robe of His glorious righteousness. He is the 
Lord my righteousness." Ere long the young lady 
learned for herself that Christ is made of God to us 
wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctiiication, and 
redemption ; and she died glorying in the Lord. 

It is, however, more especially when Christians 
have been ensnared by some besetting sin that the 
legal spirit awakes again, and prevents an immediate 
application to the fountain opened. Its language 
then is, " I am such a heinous backslider, God can- 
not love or forgive me." Thus it limits God, dis- 
honours the blood of Christ, and, if indulged, takes 
away all power from the soul to resist renewed 
temptation. My friend, if this be your case, let me 
entreat you to believe God when He says, " If any 
man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus 
Christ the righteous. If we confess our sins, he is 
faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse 
us from all unrighteousness." Insult not the Majesty 
of heaven by questioning His truth. He means what 
He says. He delights to multiply pardons. Stay not 
away then from your God in Christ He is waiting 
to be gracious to you. Your only ruin is away from 
Him. Your only safety is under His shadow. Cast 
yourself on Jesus, and you shall find complete pardon, 
entire acceptance, and grace all- sufficient to purify 
and make you a partaker of the Divine' nature. All 


our well-springs of light, life, and love are in God, 
and in Him alone. ** Whosoever willy let him take the 
water of life freely^' (Rev. xxii. 17). 

A fair young woman, the only child of her widowed 
mother, had been seduced from her poor, but happy- 
home. Her solitary parent, in her lonely cottage, 
had no resource but in prayer. Some months passed 
away. At length, abandoned by her deceiver, but 
hoping still in her mother's love, the poor girl at mid- 
night returned to her old home. Lifting the latch 
she found the door unbarred, and crept softly to bed 
at her mother's feet. Awaking soon, the mother dis- 
covered that all her prayers had been answered in the 
return of the penitent wanderer. When asked how 
she could sleep while her door was unfastened within, 
she declared that never, by day or night, had it been 
barred since her daughter went away. She had ever 
cherished the expectation that her child would be 
restored, and could not bear the thought of her find- 
ing a barred door, come home again when she might. 

The door to our Father's home and heart is never 
barred against the returning prodigal. Nay, He has 
set before us an open door that no man can shut. 
The door is Christ, the Mediator between God and 
man, able to lay His hand upon both. " By me," 
says Christ, ** if any man enter in, he shall go in and 
out and find pasture. Come unto me, all ye that 
labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest 


Him that cometh ta me I will in no wise cast out." 
In despite then of all legal doubts and fears, and 
whatever be our condition, let us hasten to our Father 
in Jesus. ** Where sin abounded, grace did much 
more abound : that as sin hath reigned unto death, 
even so might grace reign through righteousness unto 
eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." 

The best corrective of legalism is to consider our 
relation to God in the light which thus beams from 
the mercy seat; its only perfect cure comes from 
being rooted and grounded in the love which passeth 
knowledge. Planted in this rich, revivifying soil, our 
fruit will assuredly be unto holiness. Our Father in 
heaven will be glorified, and our own joy will be full. 




A CONSPIRACY had been formed against the 
authority of their youthful king by a number of 
the nobles of an eastern monarchy. A courtier high 
in rank, and on whom his master had showered many 
favours, was induced to join in the attempt to get quit 
of their ruler. The rebels were able to bring many 
troops into the field, and for a while their efforts wore a 
promising aspect ; butgathering an overwhelming force, 
the monarch unexpectedly fell upon his foes, and at 
once and completely routed their army, and destroyed 
their power. Many of the leaders were slain on the 
field of battle ; and the distinguished courtier, who 
had so ill-requited the kindness of his king, became a 
destitute outlaw, fleeing for his life — ^hiding sometimes 
in the depths of the unbroken forest, or in the rocky 
caverns of untrodden mountains, but ever suffering 
bitterly for his crime. His greatest suffering, how- 
ever, was mental. An evil conscience could not be 
cast aside Hke the insignia of his degraded nobility. 



His ingratitude grew daily blacker in his eyes, and 
the remembrance of it stung him ever deeper, as with 
scorpion sting, till he could endure it no longer. 

Some years had by this time passed away. Grief, 
and want, and hardship had so entirely changed the ap- 
pearance of the once handsome man that disguise was 
now hardly needed. He returned, unnoticed because 
unknown, to the capital of the kingdom, and sought 
the precincts of the palace which he knew so well. 
It had been easy to confess his guilt to some official, 
and find a speedy exit from the misery of existence 
on earth ; but he was constrained to desire to see the 
king himself. There was the faintest possible chance 
that the clemency of the royal heart might be extended 
towards him, the guiltiest of the rebels, because for- 
merly the most favoured of the monarch's friends. 
At the worst, he could but perish. 

The grand difficulty, as he well knew, was to reach 
the royal presence. The etiquette of the court made 
access almost impossible to any but the highest 
nobles. How then could such a poor and wretched 
creature as he hope to find approach ? 

Watching one day beyond the outermost sentinels 
who guarded the palace, he observed a little boy 
running past the soldiers, and amusing himself with 
childish glee. The proper guardian of the child did 
not appear ; and as the little one continued sporting 
about, the outcast smilingly drew nigh, and engaged 


in play with him. The old courtier had not forgot 
his manners. He knew well how to ingratiate himself 
even with an infant ; and as he soon discovered, from 
his companion's prattle and the features of his coun- 
tenance, that he was none other than the Prince 
Royal, no effort was spared to make the boy his 
friend. A gleam of hope had already entered the 
outlaw's heart,, that through the child he might find 
access to the father, and perhaps obtain pardoning 
grace from the sovereign. 

The opportunity had been so thoroughly improved 
that, when the servant approached to recall the child 
to the palace, he would not return without his new- 
found friend. Nothing would satisfy him but to be 
carried in the arms of his elderly pla)rmate, and the 
servant was obliged to yield to the wish. Each fond- 
ling the other, the boy-prince and the rebel passed 
guard after guard, and at length into the royal pre- 
sence Itself the pair found their way. 

The servant had scarcely uttered a hurried explana- 
tion of the strange craving of the royal child for the 
poor man on whose breast he was reposing with 
delight, till the rebel was on his knees before his 
offended sovereign and had divulged his name. A dark 
cloud of righteous wrath, betokening coming ven- 
geance, passed over the countenance of the monarch ; 
but holding up his youthful friend as a mediator, the 
repentant suppliant confessed all his folly, and 


especially the 'heinous crime he had committed, and 
entreated mercy for the little Prince's sake. The boy 
smiled upon the pleader, and sought by fond endear- 
ment to soothe the grief which he could not under- 
stand, but which was now wringing bitter tears from 
the man he had learned so quickly to love. Justice 
called for punishment, and for a time drowned the 
pleadings of mercy in the bosom of the King. But 
the father could not resist the plea which the contrite 
petitioner urged; he could not order to execution 
the man to whom his darling boy clung with such fond 
affection. For his son's sake he forgave the rebel. 
For his son's sake he restored him to his honourable 
position in the kingdom, and to his place in the inner 
circle of trusted friends. Nevermore, as we may well 
believe, did a thought of rebellion rise in the breast 
of the pardoned noble. Henceforth none so faithful, 
so zealous, so devoted as he ; none so ready to shed 
his life's blood for his King, and for the Prince, his 
first-born son, the prevailing mediator, whose friend- 
ship had secured^ not forgiveness merely, but restora- 
tion to dignity and wealth, to royal confidence and 

This ancient story is in many points peculiarly 
illustrative of our condition as sinners — rebels against 
the King of heaven, and of the only method of 
approach and reconciliation open to us. It fails, 
however, to show that it was the pitying love of the 


"King Himself which provided the mediator, and 
that it was through inconceivable humiliation, and 
suffering', and death that the Incarnate Son of God 
made peace for us, and secured our restoration to 
Divine favour. To far higher honours, indeed, than 
any originally conferred on man, are believers exalted 
through their Redeemer. They become sons and 
daughters of the Lord Almighty ; " and if children, 
then heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.* 
Should they not ever strive to let their devotion be in 
some small proportion to the gracious benefits be- 
stowed ? 

Suppose that the rebel against the monarch of the 
east/ when pardoned, and restored to place and 
power, and professing to be sincerely grateful, should 
nevertheless have declared himself no longer bound 
to obey the laws of the realm, but should have 
exhibited his superiority to them by transgressing 
their behests; and suppose that he should have 
boasted of this liberty of his, and based its assertion 
on the ground that he had already been forgiven most 
flagrant crimes, his conduct would have been called 
monstrous, and the narrative of it incredible. But 
this is practically the creed and the behaviour of the 
Antinomian, who refuses to be subject to the 
directions of Heaven. He says he has found free 
pardon for all his sins through the blood of the Son 
of God, and being accepted in the Beloved, he is free 


for ever from the claims of the moral law. It is of no 
further use to him. He is under obligation to it no 
longer. Any doings of his, whether good or bad, 
cannot affect his salvation, for he is already saved. 
His sins in the future, as in the past, are all forgiven ; 
and he cannot fall again into condemnation, for he is 
now under grace for ever. 

I once knew a person of this stamp who carried on 
a considerable wholesale business, and occupied for a 
time a pretty good position in a great commercial city. 
In some departments of Christian duty he showed no 
little apparent zeal. Often did he speak of his happi- 
ness and security as a believer in the Saviour, and of 
the glorious liberty of Christ's people. He was dead 
to the law, and the law was dead to him. Neither in 
prayer nor praise would he confess sin, or ask for 
pardon, for all his guilt had been taken away when 
he became a believer in Jesus. He refused of course 
to join in singing such penitential psalms as the fifty- 
first ; for in nothing could he now offend, and for 
nothing did he require to ask forgiveness. He was a 
man in Christ, and free from obligation to the law. 
For a while I could not but stand by and wonder 
whereunto this would grow. Private inquiry ere long 
convinced me that the man was self-deceived, and 
soon he showed himself a deceiver. His business 
acquaintance discovered that his word could not be 
relied on, that he would cheat in buying and selling 


when he could ; and the end was, as might have been 
expected, bankruptcy and disgrace. 

It is to be feared that there are many who follow 
Antinomianism in practice, who would scarcely 
announce its principles as being their creed. Not 
long since I heard of one of this class — a remarkably 
pious man as all his acquaintances believed. He 
lived in good style, and was not lacking in hospitality. 
In manner and speech very persuasive and gentle- 
manly; and so anxious to extend the kingdom of 
Christ, that a half hour could not be spent in his 
company, without the question being put as to 
whether his friend had given his heart to Jesus, 
and was assured of salvation. A struggling widow, a 
distant relative of his own, had, with the assistance of 
her family, scraped together a Httle money for her 
declining years. This smooth-tongued professor 
talked her into lending him a hundred pounds for a 
week or two. " He was just in a little temporary 
difficulty through the non-arrival of expected remit- 
tances. He was possessed of ample means, though 
imable for the moment to command them; but he 
was certain of being able to pay within a fort- 
night, and then he would return the money without 
fail, and with most grateful thanks." How could the 
widow refuse such an ostensibly wealthy man — one 
so kind, and so very religious withal ? The sum 
desired was handed over without any proper voucher, 


for could not the widow trust to the honour of her 
apparently godly and most gentlemanly friend ? Alas 
for misplaced confidence ! Weeks and months passed 
without repayment, one frivolous excuse after another 
being made, when the borrower was urged to fulfil 
his promise. At length, his name appeared in the 
bankrupt list, and the poor widow was swindled out of 
her hard-won savings. Even after his failure, this 
man, most orthodox, most pious, so far as words 
could go, managed somehow to continue his very 
comfortable style of living. He still professed to be 
a follower of Christ, though he would not deny him- 
self what he had been accustomed to, and though the 
victim of his chicanery had, therefore, to suffer with- 
out redress ! 

"What are these wounds in Thine hands, long- 
suffering Redeemer of men ? " " Those with which I 
was wounded in the house of my (professed) 

In his second epistle Peter tells us that his beloved 
brother Paul had written **some things hard to be 
understood, which they that are unlearned and un- 
stable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto 
their own destruction." Verily, the errors of Antino- 
mians are connected, not with the abstruse, but with 
the first and simplest lessons — the A B C — of the 
Gospel; and no more unanswerable proof of the 
desperate wickedness, and blindness, and deceitful- 


ness of the human heart can be had, than their stum- 
blings at God's truth supply. 

Surely there is nothing difficult of comprehension 

in such announcements as these : — ** Thou shalt call 

his name Jesus : for he shall save his people from 

their sins'^ " He gave himself for us, that he might 

redeem Msfi-om all iniquity, and purify unto himself 

a peculiar people zealous of good works." **Beye 

holy, for I am holy.** " Blessed are the pure in heart : 

for they shall see God." " Beloved, now are we the 

sons of God ; and it doth not yet appear what we 

shall be : but we know that when he shall appear, we 

shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 

And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth 

himself, even as he is pure."* 

Almost every page of the Bible might be quoted as 
a testimony against the pernicious doctrine regarding 
which we are writing ; but not to weary the reader, 
it may suffice now to glance at a few passages which 
exhibit the peculiar care with which the Holy Ghost 
guided the sacred penman, when treating of the 
liberty of the Christian, and especially of his deliver- 
ance from the law. Does the Apostle say, ** Ye are 
not under the law, but under grace " ? It is immedi- 
ately added, " What then ? shall we sin, because we 
are not under the law, but under grace ? God forbid. 

* See Matt. i. 21 ; Titus ii. 14 ; i. Peter i. 16 ; Matt. v. 8; 

I. John iil 2, 3. 


Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves 
servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, 
whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto 
righteousness? Being then made free from sin, ye 
became servants of righteousness." (Romans vi. 14, 
15, 16, 18.) Does he declare that **Ye also are 
become dead to the law by the body of Christ '* ? he 
forgets not the proper supplement, " that ye should 
be married to another, even to him who is raised 
from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto 
God." (Romans vii. 4.) And when he annoimces 
that '* now we are delivered from the law^ that being 
dead wherein we were held," the object of the free- 
dom is also proclaimed, **that we should serve in 
newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." 
(Romans viL 6.) 

The merest tyro in theology knows that the liberty 
of the Christian is simply from the condemning and 
exacting power of the moral law viewed as a covenant 
of works. In this aspect only is Christ the end of the 
law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 
From the law, as a rule of life, no rational creature is 
or ever can be free. For what is its sum and sub- 
stance ? Love to God, and love to our neighbours. 
To fulfil this law is to enjoy heaven even on earth ; 
to neglect it is misery. It requires little consideration 
to perceive that for one to be set free to indulge every 
feeling but love is to be transformed into a very 


Satan, and to become only a fit denizen of the region 
where enmity reigns eternally supreme. 

And what a mad hallucination is the doctrine that 
man has been redeemed with the precious blood of 
Christ, and has the right to repose on the very heart 
of the God of love, only that he may do what he 
likes without fear of the consequences I To call God 
my Father, and yet to grieve Him by my perverse 
indulgences; to speak of Jesus as my Redeemer, and 
yet to be forging, by my self-pleasing, the nails to 
crucify Him afresh ; between such professions and 
such practice there is no consistency. The honest 
follower of Christ, who has truly known and believed 
the love of God, too often, alas ! falls under tempta- 
tion ; but his stumbles and his transgressions are his 
sorrow. He hates the sin which is within him, and 
which is too often manifested in his daily walk. His 
cry is, ** O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver 
me from the body of this death ? " Life itself he 
would cheerfully lay down to get quit of the abomina- 
tions of the old man within him. But the Antinomian 
turns liberty into licentiousness. He makes Christ 
the minister of sin. He is not afraid to transgress, 
because the blood is already shed which cleanses from 
all guilt. Ah ! it is in thunder peals that the Judge 
of all has spoken from heaven, in warning against 
such desperate wickedness — "If we sin wilfully 
after that we have received the knowledge of the 


truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a 
certain fearful looking-for of judgment and fiery in- 
dignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He 
that despised Moses' law died without mercy under 
two or three witnesses : of how much sorer punish- 
ment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who 
hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath 
counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he 
was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite 
unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that 
hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will re- 
compense, saith the Lord. And again. The Lord 
shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall 
into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews x. 26- 


A wealthy and generous man, visiting a slave 
market, discovered among those who were exposed for 
sale a young woman overwhelmed with grief. On 
inquiry he learned that she had been delicately 
nurtured, and was in dread lest she should be pur- 
chased by a cruel master. The stranger waited on 
the owner, and having ascertained the price demanded, 
he paid the amount. Immediately he prepared the 
necessary certificate of freedom, and placed it in the 
young woman's hands. She could not realize his 
meaning. He left while she was trying to discover 
what had been done. The truth burst upon her 
mind, and then she ran after her deliverer. On her 


knees she besought him to allow her to become his 
humble and obedient servant for ever; and to the 
bystanders, attracted by the weeping urgency of her 
pleading, she explained it all by the exclamation, 
** He has redeemed me ! He has redeemed me ! " 

Such is always the proper effect of a right appre- 
hension of the grace of God. When Isaiah's sin was 
purged, he was eager for Jehovah's service — *'Here 
am I; send me." No sooner had Saul of Tarsus 
become truly acquainted with his Saviour, than he 
cried, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" 
Constrained by Christ's love, he no longer lived for 
himself, but for his Redeemer. The faith of God's 
elect never fails to purify the heart, and to work by 

The same medicine, which is the best cure for 
Legalism, is a sovereign remedy for Antinomianism 
too. We cannot well contemplate the cross of Christ 
in* the light of heavenly truth without losing our 
slavish fears, and being quickened to loving obedi- 
ence. In sight of the tree on which the Lamb of 
God suffered for our sins, the tree round which mercy 
and truth, righteousness and peace entwine in loveHest 
and eternal embrace, guilty terror ought to be changed 
into adoring confidence, and rebellious enmity melted 
into child-like devotedness. 

** This is the love of God, that we keep his com- 
mandments." There is no other certain proof that 


we have rightly understood and really accepted His 
kindness in Jesus. **Ye are my friends, if ye do 
whatsoever I command you.** Utterly fallacious 
therefore is any hope in Christ which is undisturbed 
by permitted and unloathed sin. The blackness of 
darkness for ever must be its final doom. *' Those 
mine enemies, who would not that I should reign 
over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." 




NEARLY twenty years ago, an elderly friend of 
mine had a considerable number of young 
women under his care for religious instruction. On 
their intellectual culture ih connection with Bible 
truth, he spent not a little labour ; but his principal 
aim was to lead them to the Saviour. In every lesson 
he sought to enlighten and stir their consciences, and 
lost no opportunity of commending to their hearts the 
love that passeth knowledge. 

One evening the subject of study was Isaac's mar- 
riage, as narrated in Genesis xxiv. All the salient 
points of the story were opened up, and illustrated 
from the manners and customs of the Easf; and many 
practical lessons for daily life were found in the in- 
teresting page. According to his usual custom, my 
friend concluded with a brief exhortation, in something 
like the following style : — 

** There is One far more noble than any Isaac, who 
sends me to tell all of you who have not yet believed 


His love, that He craves the chief place in your afFec- 
tions. I speak of Jesus, the Bridegroom of souls. 
Poor sinner, far from God and far from righteousness, 
He calls for thee. He offers thee heart for heart If 
thou wilt give Him thyself to save and bless, He will 
give thee Himself to be thine everlasting portion. 
Thy safety and thy joy are to be found only in 
giving thyself entirely to Him. And if thou art willing 
to part with all He would not have thee retain, so 
that thou mayest be wholly and for ever His own, He 
sends two lovely bracelets to thee. On one is engraved 
Pardon — ^for all that receive Jesus are at once for- 
given, and to them there is no more condemnation. 
On the other is stamped Purity — ^and it is a sure 
token that He will deck the trusting heart with all the 
beauty of His holiness, and present her to His Father 
at length without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. 
He sends a face jewel also — that Joy which lights up 
the countenance of all who open their heart-doors to 
the rays of His infinite love. 

" My dear friend, yet unreconciled to thy Father in 
Jesus, suffer me now to be as an Eliezer of Damascus 
to thee, and to induce thee to accept the gracious offer 
of mercy. The Redeemer is willing to have thee 
just as thou arty and just now* I have no orders to 
say He will have thee to-morrow. To come now, and 
to come a needy sinner as thou art — these are His only 
terms. If thou wilt consent, the betrothal is made. 


and thou mayest bedeck thyself with the jewels sent 
for thy use, and which are infinitely more valuable 
than all diamonds, or pearls, or gold. Say, 'I 
will go with Jesus — I will be His alone ; ' and 
assuredly thou shalt never have reason to repent thy 

The teacher ceased. The closing prayer and praise 
were offered, and the class broke up. Some looked 
impressed, but none remained to tell that they were 
willing to be Christ's. 

Anxious to see some fruit from his labours, my 
friend ere long resolved to call upon a few of his 
scholars, with the view of speaking with them indivi- 
dually in private about the concerns of their souls. 
His first call was on two sisters. He could not 
manage to see them separately, and his visit was not 
so satisfactory as he desired. Proceeding a quarter 
of a mile farther, he came to the house where one of 
his pupils, a young woman of eighteen, resided with a 
married sister. It was the latter he met when he 
entered the well-furnished parlour. After a little 
friendly conversation, he intimated that he would like, 
if quite convenient, to have a private interview with 
his pupil. His desire ^^ms cordially granted ; and the 
mistress of the house, leaving the apartment, sent in 
her younger sister. My friend's experience had 
taught him that the presence of even a single near 
relative will often prevent an honest utterance in 



regard to religious feelings. Hence his wish to see 
his scholar for a brief period alone. 

After the ordinary kindly salutations, my friend told 
her why he had called. He felt anxious that his 
pupil should decide for Jesus. He asked her whether 
she had come to know and feel that she was a sinner 
needing deliverance ; and getting a plain affirmative, 
he proceeded to speak of Jesus and the offer of salva- 
tion in the gospel. Reminding her of the remarks he 
had made at the conclusion of the lesson on Isaac's 
marriage, and briefly recapitulating ^lem, he put the 
question, " Wilt thou go with this man, Jesus ? Are 
you willing, my dear young friend, to accept Christ, 
as your Redeemer from wrath and your Deliverer 
from sin ? Are you willing to close with Him now? " 
The young woman was very sober-minded, and 
almost matronly in her quiet self-possession and 
modesty. She could not disguise her feelings and 
play the hypocrite at any time ; and when her teacher, 
with tenderest tones and tearful eyes, put these 
pointed questions, her response was given, with all 
the simplicity of her nature, in the softly spoken but 
distinct' affirmative, " I am." Assuring her how happy 
he felt at her decision, he counselled her to deal with- 
out delay on this all-important subject directly with 
her Father in heaven. " Go to Him in secret prayer," 
said he. " Tell Him of your guilt and unworthiness ; 
but tell Him also that you accept Jesus, the unspeak- 


able gift of His love, as your Sin-bearer and Right- 
eousness, as your Shield and your Strength ; and that 
you now give yourself up to Him in Christ that He 
may make you His own for ever.*' She promised to 
act on her teacher's advice ; and commending her to 
the Shepherd of Israel, he speedily departed. Next 
day she waited on my friend to tell him that the great 
transaction was completed, and that sweet peace filled 
her heart. He, however, continued to watch, with 
much of a father's care, over her spiritual welfare. By 
letters embodying suitable directions, and by little 
publications of a natiure fitted to encourage her to 
cleave to Jesus, as well as by the exercises of the class 
which she still attended, he endeavoured to strengthen 
and help her onwards and upwards in the narrow way. 
Soon after her acceptance of the Saviour, she con- 
fessed her devotion to Him at His table; and my 
friend has had reason to thank God greatly on her 
account, for up to the present time she has been en- 
abled to walk as a happy, humble, and truly consistent 

The question put to Rebekah, when spiritualized 
as it was on the occasion now referred to, is very full 
of meaning. Every word affords instruction. Let us 
briefly consider it in this aspect ; and may the Spirit 
of all grace enable both reader and writer to under- 
stand and to receive the things that are freely given 
to us of God. 


* * Wilt— Wilt thou go with this Man ; " All who 
have reached the years of understanding, and are then 
saved from wrath and sin, desire so to be. None of 
them are delivered by force and without consent on 
their part. Christ draws them, it is true, but with the 
bands of love. His infinite excellency. His suitable- 
ness for every necessity of a lost sinner. His ability to 
save to the uttermost, His matchless kindness, and 
His gracious invitations — ^all exhibited in the gospel 
page — are the sweet attractions by which He wins the 
heart, already self-condemned. Especially by the 
crowning act of His love to sinners, the bearing of 
"our sins in his own body on the tree," does He 
affect our souls. ** I, if I be lifted up from the earth, 
will draw all men unto me." The proper response to 
His tender call, " Come unto me, and I will give you 
rest," is no mere bodily movement ; but an putgoing 
of desire towards Him, an expression of hearty willing- 
ness to be saved in His own way, and on His own 
terms, and made altogether and eternally His own. 
The offer on His part must be met by acceptance on 
ours ; and thus only can the promise be fulfilled, " I will 
betroth thee unto me for ever." As His own language 
intimates, the dreadful responsibility of refusing Him 
lies with us. " Ye will not come to me, that ye might 
have life.*' "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often 
would I have gathered thy children together, even as 
a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and>'^ 


would notJ^ Thus to reject His saving grace and 
love wrung tears from His eyes, as He looked on the 
infatuated people of Israel ; and by similar unbehef 
we may yet grieve Him. Would we like to gratify 
Him ? It can be done, in the first instance, only by 
closing with His mercy, offered without money and 
without price. Then in us " He shall see of the 
travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.'' 

" Thou — Wilt thou go with this Man ? *' Religion 
is an individual thing. We cannot be saved in the 
mass, by families or by companies. A connection 
with the most godly relatives, or with the purest 
church on earth, will deliver none from eternal death. 
Each man and womail, each individiiol, must deal 
alone with God. The prayer of the dying thief was, 
** Lord, remember me:" and Paul lets us see plainly 
how he acted for his soul's salvation in the well-known 
passage, " I know whom / have believed, and am per- 
suaded that he is able to keep what / have committed 
unto him against that day." There is the direct and 
personal transacting of a soul with the Saviour ; and if 
any one has not thus dealt simply and sincerely with 
Christ, I more than fear that he is yet unsaved. Dear 
reader, it is thyself Xht Saviour wants. " Behold," He 
says, *' I stand at the door and knock; if any man 
hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to 
him, and will sup with him, and he with me." If 
thou art willing, Christ is ; and an eternal covenant of 


friendship may this moment be sealed between Him- 
self and thee. Shut thine eyes from considering the 
case of others ; and in the secret of thine own heart 
give the Master Himself the answer to the question, 
" Wilt thou go with this Man, Christ Jesus ? " 

" Wilt thou GO with this man ? " " He that loveth 
father or mother more than me is not worthy of 
me," said JeSus. We must, if we would be Christ's, 
be ready to part with all that we may win Him, 
and be found in Him. We must turn our backs, 
of course, on whatever is impure in thought, and 
speech, and action. We must go from even proper 
things, things in themselves innocent, if they would 
prevent us from keeping close by the Saviour. From 
all our own self-righteousness, and self-admiration, 
and self-pleasing, we must go ; and our progress must 
be downward in lowliness of spirit, outward in deeds 
of holy love, upward in heavenly desires and aims. 
"Forgetting those things which are behind, and 
reaching forth unto those things which are before," 
we must, like Paul, " press toward the mark for the 
prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." 
Thus does the true Christian advance, till grace end 
in glory. Then shall all who go with Christ now de 
with Him for ever, and ife like Him, for they shall see 
Him as He is. Blessed consummation of all tears, 
and struggles, and prayers, and toils below! Once 
within the gates of pearl, they " shall go no more out^ 


^ With — Wilt thou go with this Man ?" It is often 
painful to the human heart to tear itself away from 
what it naturally likes, and to choose Jesus only for its 
aU in all. When, however, we yield to His pleading 
love, we come to realize that His fellowship is better 
than life. In the Song of Solomon all true believers 
are pictured to us as leaning on the Saviour's arm, 
sitting under His shadow with great delight, holding 
Him ifast with the hands of faith and love, and admir- 
ing Him as the chiefest among ten thousand, and as 
altogether lovely. Paul speaks of glorying in his 
infirmities, that the power of Christ might rest upon 
him; and Peter declares that believers in his day, 
even when sorely tried, rejoiced with joy unspeakable 
and full of glory in their unseen, but ever present 
Lord. It is all true still in the experience of God's 
children. Christ's love, accepted, makes up for the 
loss of all creatures ; and they who have tasted it in 
truth must go with Him. " Whither Thou goest, O 
Jesus ! I will go ; and where Thou lodgest I will 
lodge : Thy people shall be my people, and Thy God 
my God." 

" This — Wi/t thou go with this Man ?*' Different 
is He from all other men. He could say, " Before 
Abraham was, I am." He is called " Wonderful, Coun- 
sellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the 
Prince of Peace." On His vesture and on His thigh 
His name is written, "King of Kings and Lord of 


Lords." He is ** Emmanuel, God with us," and 
God for us. The silver and the gold of earth, and the 
wealth of heaven, are His. All power in heaven and 
earth He wields. Angels and archangels acknowledge 
Him as their Creator and Upholder, and watch 
obediently for His commands. Yet however glorious 
and rich He is in Himself, and as the heir of all 
things, all His glory and all His wealth are made over 
to the needy sinner who chooses Him as his soul's 
portion. Surely such an offer should not be made 
light of! Such a gainful proposal should not be 
rejected I Why not say naw^ and decidedly ^ ^^ I will 
go with this man " / 

" Man— Wilt thou go with this Man ? " He is 
indeed the " child born, the Son given, the brother 
bom for our adversity." Though very God of very 
God, He is perfect man withal — with human feelings 
and sympathies, and yearnings — ^fuU of compassion, 
ready to receive His sinful brethren, delighting to fill 
aching hearts with peace that passeth all understand- 
ing. See Him as He weeps at the tomb of Lazarus. 
Watch Him as the sick and dying crowd around seek- 
ing help. Never one came and went uncured away. 
Consider Him as He toils along the streets of Jeru- 
salem under His heavy cross, and forgetting all His 
own sufferings, looks, with divinest pity, on the poor 
women weeping for Him, and cries, " Weep not for 
me, but weep for yourselves and your children." Gaze 



on Him, as He bleeds and dies under His Father's 
wrath, that you, dear reader, might be saved ; and as 
you muse on His infinite tenderness and love, say 
what answer you will give to the question, "Wilt^thou 
go with this man ?" May your answer be in the spiri£, 
if not the words of Angelus Silesius :— 

'^ O Love, who once in time wast slain. 

Pierced through and through with bitter woe ; 
O Love, who wrestling thus didst gain 

That we eternal life might know ; 
O Love, I give myself to Thee, 
Thine ever, only Thine to be." 

{Lyra Germanka,) 

The offer of full and free salvation is thus assuredly 
very plain, yet some honest inquirers are long in 
closing definitely with it Let me submit a single case 
in illustration. 

A gentleman of my acquaintance had introduced 
to him three or four young men, who professed to be 
seeking salvation. One of these had much difficulty 
in coming to the Saviour. Well aware that he needed 
salvation from guilt and sin, he wished to be brought 
into die glorious liberty of the children of God; but 
his feelings towards • his Father in heaven and the 
Redeemer of the lost were so cold, and his heart was 
so very hardy that he was ashamed to approach while 
in such a condition. He was very diligent in study- 
ing his BiblCi in attendance on the Sabbath ministry 


of the Word, and at prayer-meetings on ordinary 
evenings, at which many truly gospel addresses were 
delivered ; but for a considerable period he remained 
in the same uneasy mood. My friend had many in- 
terviews with him. At first he endeavoured to open 
up to him the all-sufficiency of Christ's work, how 
His blood cleanseth from all sin, and how He is 
^ made of God to us wisdom, and righteousness, and 
sanctification, and redemption (or glorification)." 
Then he sought to explain that Jesus is given to who- 
soever will have Him — enforcing the idea by quoting 
such texts as these : — " God so loved the world, that 
he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever 
believeth in him (or receives Him as his own 
Saviour) should not perish, but have everlasting life '' 
(John iiLr i6). " Whosoever will, let him take the water 
of life freely** (Rev. xxii. 17). Changing his method 
slightly, my friend proceeded to show that not merely 
have we the assurance that '' whosoever shall call upon 
the name of the Lord shall be saved," but that in fact 
God the Father and Cxod the Son are actually etitreat- 
ing sinners to accept salvation : — " Now then we are 
ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech 
you by us ; we pray you in Christ's stead, he ye recon- 
ciled to God'' (2. Cor. v. 20). Thereupon it was 
argued that such condescending love should sweep 
away every barrier, and the sinner fall at once into 
the open arms of his Redeemer^ and his God. The 


young man saw these things with much intellectual 
clearness, but he was still unmoved. At length, 
however, there was a discovery of his actual difficulty. 
It was the felt coldness of his heart Delineations of 
God's love manifested in the crucified Sufferer of 
Calvary had somehow no effect. Earnest appeals to 
look out from himself altogether to Jesus only, and 
explanations that faith precedes feeling — ^that to get 
the gift of the Spirit we must come to Jesus (see 
John vii. 37, 38) — were alike unavailing. No resource 
seemed then to be left but to press the youth with 
God's commandment, as laid down in i John iii. 23 : 
— ** This is his commandment, that we should believe 
on the name of his Son Jesus Christ," and to lurge him 
to do God's bidding. My friend plied this text in every 
possible way, but for a time no result was attained. 

One night, after an assembly for prayer, the old 
Christian ' met his young acquaintance, and as he 
warmly shook his hand, at once accosted him with 
the inquiry : — " Well, is it done yet ? Have'you on 
your knees closed with Christ? Have you obeyed 
God and taken hold, as a poor -lost sinner, of His 
unspeakable gift ? " A somewhat sorrowful negative 
was the answer. " Go, then, my dear young friend, 
and do it this night ere you sleep," said the elderly 
gentleman ; and after a few more pressing words, the 
young man, as they were parting, replied, " I will." 
He was as good as his promise. He sought his 


closet before retiring to rest. He told God of his 
sinfulness, his deadness of heart, and his utter un- 
worthiness ; and then accepting Christ as the gift of 
love eternal, he gave himself away to Jesus to be 
saved and blessed. In the Saviour's name, too, he 
besought the bestowal of the Holy Spirit But he 
rose from his knees all unchanged, so far as feeling was 
concerned. Love to God and the Redeemer seemed 
not to move his heart 

The youth went to bed, but not to sleep. As he 
lay ruminating on what he had just done, his thoughts 
were gradually turned to contemplation of Jesus. 
The history of His incarnation on our behalf. His 
obedience as our representative. His suffering unto 
death that our guilt might be removed, and peace 
with the holy and just God secured for ever to all 
who hide under His covert, passed before the youth's 
mental vision with the vividness of a panoramic scene. 
Having closed with the offer of salvation, he began to 
feel he had now an interest in all these things. As he 
mused on them his heart melted. The love of God 
was shed abroad within him by the Holy Ghost, and 
awakened burning love to the Saviour and to his ?iow 
reconciled Father in Jesus. Tears of grateful joy fell 
fast Brimful of heavenly consolation, he could but 
weep for very gladness. For days aiwi weeks the 
same happiness continued — and his spirit overflowed 
with wonder, love, and praise. 


Years passed, and the subject of these experiences 
was enabled to walk humbly and faithfully with God. 
In season and out of season he laboured, and is still 
labouring to extend the kingdom of Christ; and 
laige numbers have had to thank him as the in- 
strument who led them into the blessed hope of the 

The case of this young man should not be made 
by any one a pattern or a standard. Every mind has 
its own peculiarities, and each conversion has its own 
spiritual history. The grand lesson which it carries 
appears to me to be this — that in whatever state of 
heart and soul a man may be when the offer of Christ 
to save him is presented ^ the offer should be at once ac- 
cepted and the Redeemer embrcuxd with the arms of faith. 
To delay is to remain in a state of alienation from 
God, and thus to imperil all. 

Already it has been shown from Scripture that God 
in Christ is beseeching sinners to be reconciled to 
Him. If they give consent^ the transaction is com- 
pleted. God is willing ; my reader, are you ? If you 
are, who shall separate you from the love of God, 
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord ? 





IN Mr. Moody-Stuart's interesting Recollections of 
the late Dr. John Duncan, we are told " that any 
simple statement of the Gospel had a great attraction 
for him. The simpler it was, he enjoyed it the more, 
if it was not controversial, but the genuine utterance 
of the heart The account of redemption from the 
lips of an African woman, a slave, impressed him 
deeply ; he liked to repeat it in conversation, and on 
one occasion at a meeting for prayer, he stood up and 
said without further remark of his own, " I have never 
heard the Gospel better stated than it was put by a 
poor negress : ^Me dicy or He die : He die^ me no 
die: " 

Truly, this brief utterance of the humble black 
woman might put many philosophical theologians to 
the blush, for they too often mystify what is plain 
enough to the meek and simple, and by much learning 
darken counsel. How stands the matter ? . I am a 



sinner, and deserve to die, unless an Almighty Saviour 
assume my place and die in my stead. The Lord 
from heaven has come, and having taken on Him our 
nature, His own self bare our sins in His own body 
on the tree. Because of His death in our room, free 
forgiveness is proclaimed to every sinner who is willing 
to return to his justly offended Father in heaven. He 
that accepts Christ as his Redeemer shall never 
perish ; or as the negress put it in the single sentence 
of which the learned Doctor was so fond, '* Me die, 
or He die : He die, me no die." 

Of the awfulness of the sufferings of Christ, when 
"Jehovah laid upon Him the iniquity of us all," and 
He was made a curse for us, the profoundest thinkers 
can understand but little. The depth is too great 
for the human mind to fathom, the intensity too 
terrible for creature-intellect to comprehend. Few on 
earth were, however, better fitted for considering this 
subject than Dr. Duncan, and one who studied under 
him when he was Professor of Hebrew in Edinbui^h, 
has recorded for us how much he was affected when 
the theme was before his mind. Let me quote it from 
the volume of Recollections to which I have already 
referred : — 

" In the winter of 1864, Dr. Duncan was reading 
part of Isaiah with his senior class. The particular 
passage I cannot remember, nor does it matter, for it 
only served as a suggestion of the cry in the first verse 


of the 22nd Psalm, * My God, my God, why hast thou 
forsaken me ? * By the time Dr. Duncan had reached 
that point, he had left his desk, and, bent nearly 
double, was pacing up and down in front of the stu- 
dents' benches, his snuff-box and pocket-handkerchief 
in one hand, a huge pinch of snuif occupying the 
fingers of the other, but utterly forgotten in the 
absorbing interest of his subject, our Lord's sufferings 
for sinners, which he was turning over, and looking kt, 
now on this side, now on that, but all with a loving 
reverence, and as one who spoke in a half- sleeping 
vision, when suddenly a flash went through him as if 
heaven had opened. He straightened himself up, his 
face kindled into a rapture, his hand went up and the 
snuff scattered itself from the unconscious fingers as 
he turned to the class, more as it seemed for sympathy 
than to' teach — * Ay, ay,' he said ; * Ay, ay, d'ye know 
what it was — dying on the cross, forsaken by His 
Father — d'ye know what it was ? What ? What ? It 
was damnation — and damnation taken lovingly 1 ' 
Then he subsided into his chair, leaning a little to 
one side, his head very straight and stiff, his arms 
hanging down on either side beyond the arms of his 
chair, with the light beaming from his face, and the 
tears trickling down his cheeks, he repeated in a 
low, intense voice, that broke into a half, sob, half 
laugh in the middle, * It was damnation, — and He 
took it lovingly,* No saying of the many I hav 


heard from him, nothing in all his manner and expres- 
sion ever struck me like this." 

To one who knows that he is an offender against 
the Majesty of Heaven, nothing can bring peace and 
comfort, except the knowledge of this — the perfect 
sacrifice which Christ Jesus presented on our behalf^ 
when He offered up Himself. This propitiation was 
for the utterly lost and undone, and however vile we 
may think ourselves, we are entreated to take hold of 
it as our own all-sufficient plea. 

" For myself," said the same notable divine, on one 
occasion, " for myself, I cannot always come to Christ 
direct, but I can always come by sin. Sin is the 
handle by which I get Christ. I take a verse in which 
God has put Christ and sin together. I cannot 
always put my finger upon Christ and say, 'Christ 
belongs to me,* but I can put my finger upon sin and 
say, * Sin belongs to ' me.* I take that word, for 
instance, * The Son of Man is come to save that 
which was lost.* Yes, lost, lost, — I'm lost; I put my 
finger upon that word and gay,* * I'm the lost one \ 
I'm lost.* Well, I find that * The Son of Man is come 
to save the lost ; * and I cry out . * What God hath 
joined together, let not man put asunder.' ** 

The death of Christ, by which He opened up to 
sinners the way of salvation, is thus life to a lo6t 
world. But it is the death of Him who speedily arose 
from the dead that is our consolation. " Blessed," ex- 


claimed the apostle Peter, " blessed be the God and 
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to 
his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a 
lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from 
the dead." " If Christ be not risen," said Paul, 
'^ then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also 
vain. Ye are yet in your sins." 

The resurrection was the proof that Christ was 
what He professed to be-^the Eternal Son of God. 
It declared plainly that He had fully atoned for the 
guilt of a sinful world, and that He is able to save to 
the uttermost all that come to God by Him. To the 
Jews of Paul's days, the doctrine of the crucified but 
risen and exalted Jesus was a stumbling-block, and 
to the Greeks foolishness. The descendants of Jacob 
now existing, as well as the self-styled philosophers of 
modem times, continue to scoff at these foundation- 
truths of the Christian faith. It seems to them an 
utter absurdity that " the Dust of the Earth can be 
upon the throne of the Majesty on High " — that the 
Son of a poor Jewish virgin can be the Son of God, 
and though once crucified in weakness, is now and 
for ever exalted King of kings and Lord of lords. 
What the wise of earth cannot receive is the joy and 
rejoicing of the humble believer. That the Infinite, 
Eternal, and Unchangeable Son of God was made 
flesh that He might die for His own creatures, and 
rise again for their salvation, is plainly the revelation 


of the Bible. To the meek and lowly mind, the 
mere statement of such an amazing act embodies the 
proof of its divine origin. Never could created ima- 
gination, in its wildest flight, have attained of itself 
to such a conception. The thought is all too wonder- 
ful to have sprung in any heart but that of Jehovah, 
or to have been carried through by any but Him, 
who is Himself the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the 
Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince 
of Peace. What the Lord planned. He completed. 
When the Incarnate Son of God had by Himself 
purged our sins. He resumed, but in a glorified 
human body, His seat on the Eternal throne. Here 
is consolation for every distressed conscience. " The 
blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.'* Or, 
as the poor African put it, ** Me die, or He die : He 
die, me no die." 

That faith may be strong and hope bright, in the 
minds of His trusting people, is the object at which 
our Father aims in the heaping of promise upon pro- 
mise in the Bible pages. But as if He would put it 
beyond their power to cherish a single doubt. He has 
adopted a stronger measure still His oath has been 
uttered in confirmation of His promise, so that 
" strong consolation " may be ministered to repentant 
sinners. Read the Old Testament form of it in Isaiah 
liv. 7 to lo : — 

''For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but 


with great mercies wiQ I gather thee. In a little 
wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but 
with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, 
saith the Lord thy Redeemer. For this is as the 
waters of Noah unto me ; for as I have sworn that the 
waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so 
have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor 
rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the 
hills be removed ; but my kindness shall not depart 
from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be 
removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." 

The New Testament exhibition of the same cheer- 
ing assurance is to be found in Hebrews vL 16 to 

'' For men verily swear by the greater ; and an oath 
for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. 
Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto 
the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, 
confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable 
things (namely, his promise and his oath), in which 
it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a 
strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay 
hold on the hope set before us.'' 

In explanation of the effect of the oath of Jehovah, 
it will be desirable for us to look for an instant at 
some statements of the Apostle in the seventh chapter 
of Hebrews. He there refers to the abolition of the 
Jewish priesthood, and the setting up in its place of 


one unchangeable and everlasting Priest, the Lord 
Jesus Christ The Aaronic priesthood was, indeed, 
ordained by Heaven. ** No man taketh this honour 
unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was 
Aaron," and his descendants. They were, however, 
ultimately deprived of the honour, and another 
appointed in their room. And will not He in His 
turn be removed ? Paul shows that now no further 
change can occur^ and explains in a single sentence 
how we may know this — ^verse 21, "Those (Jewish) 
priests were made wiihaut an oath, but this (Jesus 
Christ) with an oath by him that said unto Him, The 
Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for 
ever, after the order of Melchisedec" 

From these observations it appears plain that, in 
certain circumstances, Jehovah may alter arrange- 
ments which He Himself has made; but what He 
swears to shcUl nevery can never be revoked. The 
promise of salvation to all who welcome the gift of 
His Son as their Saviour is indeed sure and certain. 
It has been spoken by Him who cannot lie, and is 
grounded on the everlasting righteousness of the 
Redeemer. But to make security doubly sure, to 
show the impossibility of God's favour in Christ being 
ever in any circumstances revoked, and so to let faith 
feel that its footing is firm on the* Rock of Ages, 
Jehovah confirms His promise by His oath. Well, 
then, may every trusting heart biu^t into praise^ and 


with Isaiah sing the joyful song, '* Behold God is my 
salvation; I will trast, and not be afraid; for the 
Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also 
is become my salvation." 

That we may not be saying to ourselves, " Peace, 
peace, when there is no peace," let us more definitely, 
but very briefly, inquire who may take the comfort 
which God's promise and oath are meant to convey. 
The passage already quoted from the sixth chapter of 
Hebrews distinctly answers the question. They are 
those " who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the 
hope set before us." That hope is Christ — Christ, 
tiie Almighty Saviour. Before any one ever flees to 
the Redeemer, he must have realized that he is a 
guilty sinner, ready to perish; that behind is the 
Avenger wielding the Sword of Eternal Justice, and 
that nothing which his own arm can effect will stay 
execution. Lost and undone, he despairs of finding 
any other shelter, and therefore runs into the open door 
which Christ sets before him. Henceforth he abides 
under the covert of the crucified Jesus, the God-man 
who is the only safe hiding-place fh>m the storm of 
divine wrath. 

This, however, is not all the salvation which we 
require, and which the Word made flesh affords. He 
is called Jesus because he saves His people from their 
sins. They who rightly look to Christ to shield them 
from the punishment of their transgressions, cling to 


Him also for deliverance from every sinful thing. 
Temptation often assails them, but they cleave to 
their Saviour for preservation. When they cry to 
their Almighty Friend, their foes are turned back. 
They become conquerors through Him that loves 
them, and of whose strength they take hold. 

Let each of us test ourselves. Let us ask whether 
we have fled for refuge from wrath to Christ, and are 
constantly abiding under His shadow. Let us inquire 
whether we know Jesus as our own actual Saviour 
from sin's power and sin's very presence. Do we 
appeal to Jesus as often as temptation assails, and do 
we thus find relief from evil ? Surely we shall know 
in our own consciousness whether we have thus run 
to Christ, and are thus abiding in Him. If we have 
not fled to Him for refuge from wrath, and are not 
cleaving to Him for preservation from sin, we can 
have no part in His salvation. God's promise and 
God's oath ensuring mercy are not for us ; but our 
portion is with the unbelievers. Of them Jehovah has 
said, " So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter 
into my rest." 

Notice now the unchangeableness of the love of 
Jehovah — more stable far than the strength of what 
we call the everlasting hills. As compared with the 
brevity of man's existence on earth, the mountains 
seem to be fixed for* ever. In reality, they are con- 
tinually crumbling away. The atmosphere and the 


rain which falls on them are breaking them very 
slowly but gradually down ; and in course of ages they 
change greatly, and would ultimately be levelled. 
They, and the earth of which they form a part, are 
doomed, however, to a more rapid destruction. **The 
day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in 
the which the heavens shall pass away with a great 
noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat ; 
the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be 
burned up." Amidst the universal conflagration, be- 
lievers in Jesus shall lift up their voices and sing, 
" God is our refuge and strength, therefore will not we 
fear." As the gorgeous palaces of the wealthy fade 
away amidst the flames, and the jewels, and the gold, 
and the grandeur of this world disappear amidst the 
fire which enwraps the entire globe, Christ's people 
shall be safe beside their King upon His throne. 
Joyfully will they look down upon the awful scene, 
for then shall they fully realize the rich delight and 
ample security of the oath-confirmed promise, " The 
mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed : but 
my kindness shall not depart from thee, nor the cove- 
nant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that 
hath mercy on thee." 

The wine of strong consolation which we are pre- 
sently considering is needed constantly, however, in 
the pilgrimage of life. It is for daily use that it is 
supplied from the treasury of grace, and truly wise 


are they who are gifted with skill to employ it 

Here is a simple-minded and honest follower of the 
Lord Jesus. Under a sudden attack of temptation he 
has slipped and fallen. He is writing bitter things 
against himself. His unfaithfulness, his ingratitude, 
the grief which he has occasioned to his Redeemer, 
the dishonour he has done to his Father in heaven, 
stand out before the eye of his conscience in the 
blackest colours. He is tempted to think that his sin 
is beyond forgiveness ; that the bolt of divine ven- 
geance must cast him speedily into the pit of woe. 
The promise comes, however, to his mind — "The 
blood of Jesus cleanseth from all sin : if we confess 
our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, 
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.'' He has- 
tens to the throne of grace, and lays before the Lord 
all his folly. He seeks refuge under the covert of 
Christ's blood and righteousness. The strong consola- 
tion is for him. Let him be assured that God's kind- 
ness shall not depart from him, and then will he run 
with buoyant step in the way of God's commandments. 

There is another Christian mourning because of the 
liveliness of his besetting sins. Ofttimes it seems to 
him as if he had never believed at all — as if he could 
not have been ever rightly converted. Corruption is 
so strong within, that he can hardly discern any gra- 
cious feeling. Test him fairly, however, and you will 


find that he would not like to part with Christ; yet he 
is afraid that he shall perish. The strong consolation 
is assuredly for him also. Let his faith grasp the 
oath-confirnied promis&^ and as he looks up to the 
smiling face, and hearkens to the strengthening words 
of his Father in Jesus, the plagues of his heart will 
cease to harass him severely, and he will become a 
conqueror through redeeming love. 

The case of Asaph, as detailed in the 73rd Psalm, 
finds many parallels among the people of God in all 
ages. Whilb the wicked around are fat and fair and 
flourishing, the humble folk who walk with God are 
sorely perplexed by the providential dispensations 
which are measured out to them. Very apt are they 
then to cry out, " Verily we have cleansed our hearts 
in vain, and washed our hands in innocency ; for all 
the day long have we been plagued, and chastened 
every morning." Under such trials they should at 
once betake themselves to the overflowing. spiritual 
comforts, which are laid up for their support. Has 
not their Father promised that all things shall work 
together for their good ? Is not Jesus head over all 
things for the eternal welfare of them that hide in 
Him ? And has not Jehovah sworn that His kind- 
ness shall not depart ? As they consider these en- 
couragements, they will be comforted ; and helped to 
rejoice in Him who is the strength of their heart and 
their portion for ever. 


All the promises of God are, as a negro expressed 
it, " certain sure " in Christ. To know them in their 
fulness and richness, and to understand that they are 
all guaranteed to us by the oath of Jehovah if we are 
hiding in the Redeemer, is the best preparation for 
the cloudy and dark day of trial. While the sky is 
bright, then, let us cull them from the pages of the 
Word of God, and lay them up as cordials for 
future use. Especially let us see to it, that we have 
a right to them which cannot be gainsaid in the 
Court of Heaven, All of them are ours if we are 
Christ's. Have we given ourselves wholly and for 
ever to Him ? That is the question of questions for 
us. If it has not yet, as we fear, been perfectly done, 
let us do it again — let us do it now. " Then the 
mountains may depart, and the hills be removed ; " 
but we shall evermore have the strong consolation of 
Jehovah's oath-confirmed promise, "My kindness 
shall not depart from thee, nor the covenant of my 
peace be removed." 




** Little children, abide in Him." 

A POPULAR preacher of the last generation used 
occasionally to picture to his hearers, in a fan- 
ciful way, some of the interesting employments of tjie 
glorified state. He imagined one crowd flocking to 
enjoy the voice and the harp of David, another to 
listen to the wisdom of Solomon, a third to hear the 
rapt utterances of Isaiah ; " but as for me,'* the orator 
used to add, " I would go to hearken to the eloquence 
of Paul." 

It would assuredly be an enjoyment of the highest 
order, for any Christian on earth to listen to a dis- 
course from the living lips of the greatest theologian 
of all the Apostles. With extensive human learning 
as the handmaid of the Divine truth which he always 
gloried in proclaiming, with a wonderful logical pK)wer 
which found its fitting companion in the intensity of 
his loving devotion to his crucified and exalted Re- 



deemer, one can but feebly imagine how the judg- 
ment and the affections would alike be carried captive, 
as the Apostle of the Gentiles exhibited and illustrated 
his subject under the guidance of the Divine Spirit. 
The holy boldness and loving ardour of Peter, and 
the awe-inspiring but practical style of James, would 
also attract many admirers; but certainly not a smaller 
audience would greet the prelections of the disciple 
who may be fitly styled " the apostle of love." His 
hearers would gather around him, expecting to behold 
in his countenance some rays reflected from the only 
human face, which ever shed on earth the full bright- 
ness of the. invisible God — to hear some words in 
their sweet tones and touching tenderness, like those 
which used to fall from the mouth of Him who spake 
as never man spake — to feel some thrilling of heart, 
such as filled with ecstasy the soul of him who was so 
often wont to lean on the very bosom of Eternal 


Though deprived of the personal presence of the 
apostles now referred to, we can never be sufficiently 
grateful to the supervising care of the Great Teacher, 
under whom they laboured, for the specimens of their 
lessons which are transmitted to us in the Sacred Canon. 
As we study their instructions with regard to the truth 
as it is in Jesus, we may at times realize in spirit 
something of their very presence, and bow with, them 
in lowliest adoration before the throne of Him, who 


hath loved uc and washed us from our sins in His 
own infinitely precious blood. 

For the present let us visit the school and listen to 
the teaching of John. We open the door just as he 
is drawing an interesting lesson to a point ; and we 
hear him summing up his counsels in the words, 
** Little children, abide in Him." (i John ii. 28.) 

Whether considered naturally or intellectually, his 
scholars are not all of one age or statm-e. They 
are described in verses 13, 14, and 18 of the same 
chapter as fathers, young men, and little children. 
To the whole class, however, the epithet, little children, 
is applied in verses i, 12, and 28, and throughout the 
rest of his first epistle ; but a different Greek word for 
little children — a term expressive of more tender aflfec- 
tion — ^is there employed. By John then, as by Paul 
in writing to the Galatians, all pupils of whatever age 
were addressed as little children. Why it was so, it 
will be my endeavour immediately to explain ; but in 
an important sense, those among John's scholars who 
were really little children as to years, were also fathers 
and young men. John describes the fathers as those 
who had "known him that is from the beginning," 
namely, the Word of life, who is the brightness gf 
God's glory, and the express image of His person. 
As to the young men, he says they had " overcome 
the wicked one, and were strong, and had the word of 
God abiding in them.** Intellectually, of. course, 


children in years cannot usually match fathers or 
young men ; but, spiritually, very little children may- 
be fathers in knowledge, and young men in devotion. 
If they have felt the love of God in Christ, and with 
trusting hearts have therefore begun to lisp "our 
Father," they have attained the essence of all true 
knowledge, and however soon called away, they shall 
"die an hundred years old." The same love realized 
will make them strong as young men in fighting and 
overcoming the wicked one. They will delight in the 
Word which tells of Jesus, and learn to hate everything 
that would grieve Him who died on the cross for them. 

The term little children was no doubt used by John 
to all whom he addressed, whatever might be their 
ages, as one of special endearment. In this he fol- 
lowed the Master. It was during the last meeting 
with His disciples in the upper chamber, before He 
went out to Gethsemane, that He said, in tenderest 
accents, " Little children, yet a little while I am with 
you." (John xiii. 33.) 

•More, however, than this is embodied in the desig- 
nation. We are reminded by it of that scene in 
Capernaum when Christ rebuked the carnal ambition 
of His followers. Calling to Him a little child, and 
setting him in the centre of the circle, He said, 
" Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and 
become as little children, ye shall not enter into 
the kingdom of heaven." (Matt, xviii. 3.) On thlt 


occasion He referred to those characteristics of little 
children, which must be possessed or diligently aimed 
after by every one who claims Him as his Saviour and 
his King. The same idea doubtless filled the mind 
of John ; and not a little practical instruction may be 
gleaned by considering, briefly, some of those graces 
of character which are generally manifested in little 

Litfie children are humble. They are not conceited 
because of their position or their talents. An infanf 
prince will play with a peasant child on equal terms, 
and without a thought of assuming. The pride that 
by-and-by will sprout and grow, even with little aid 
from flatterers, is yet undeveloped ; and happy would 
it be for every man if its seeds could be annihilated 
within him, before they begin to spring at all. The 
enjoyment of existence is much increased to little 
children by the absence of self-consciousness and self- 
conceit. Everybody who knows* the plagues of his 
own heart will agree with Dr. Payson's remarks in a 
letter to a young minister:— " Some time since,** he 
says, " I took up a little work, purporting to be the 
lives of sundry characters as related by themselves. 
Two of these characters agreed in saying, that they 
were never happy until they had ceased striving to be 
great men. It occurred to me at once that most of 
my sorrows and sufferings were occasioned by an un- 
willingness to be the nothing I am, and by consequent 


Struggles to be something. I saw if I would but cease 
struggling, and consent to be anything, or nothing, 
just as God pleases, I might be happy. My heart 
saw this, and consented to it ; and I am comparatively 
happy. My dear brother, if you can give up all desire 
to be great, and feel heartily willing to be nothings 
you will be happy too." 

It is " the lowly spirit God hath consecrated for His 
abiding rest.** Where He is absent there can be no 
true or lasting peace. In order to promote both their 
safety and comfort, He uses means to hide pride from 
those whom He draws after Himselfl Afflictions, and 
temptations, which unveil the hidden evils of our 
nature, are often employed by Him for this purpose. 
Blessed is the result when our self-love is turned into 
self-loathing, and our self-admiring into self-abhorring. 
The servant who abases himself in the dust, and exalts 
only the Lord his God, is usually the chosen instrument 
by whom the Almighty operates most gloriously in 
subduing other rebels to His sway. "Whosoever 
shall humble himself as this little child," said Christ, 
" the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." 
And this taking root downwards, in regard to the 
believer's opinion of himself, progresses more and 
more as the Divine life increases within. Spiritually 
he is ever becoming increasingly humble, and when 
really and perfectly transformed into a little child in 
heart, he is ready for the kingdom of glory. 


Haw many shut themselves out from salvation by 
pride of station, or purse, or intellect ! " Not many 
wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many 
noble are called," simply because they will not strip 
off their vain-glory, and take pardon and acceptance 
as a free gift from God to the ** wretched, and poor, 
and miserable, and blind, and naked." It is hard to 
confess one's self as being ignorant, and base, and 
without claim to aught but what pure mercy may see 
fit to bestow; but without stooping thus we cannot 
enter into the kingdom of heaven. 

Littie children are receptive. On that very interesting 
occasion when infants were brought to the Saviour, 
and when He said, " Suffer the little children to come 
unto me, and forbid them not ; for of such is the 
kingdom of God " — He added the instructive words, 
" Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive 
the kingdom of God as a little child shall not enter 
therein." Children are great believers. They accept 
as true what is stated to them by those under whose 
charge they may be placed ; and when a promise is 
made, they grasp it firmly, and expect fulfilment. 
Bring an attractive present near, and offer it lovingly 
to an infant not yet fit to walk, and the child will seize 
the gift without questioning your willingness. 

In spiritual as well as in temporal things this prin- 
ciple holds with regard to little ones. Let me offer 
some examples. 


A little boy one night was suddenly seized with 
croup. He became so ill that he thought he vcas 
likely to die. The lessons he had been taught as to 
the greatness and goodness of God were not forgotten, 
and he trembled at the prospect of appearing bebre 
the throne. Then, however, he remembered iiat 
Jesus had died for sinners — that His blood can cleanse 
from all sin — and that he who cometh to God in Clrist 
shall not be cast out. He sprang to his knees, and 
prayed most earnestly. " Oh God ! " he cried, " vash 
me from all my sins in my Saviour's blood, and then I 
shall be whiter than the snow." Almost immediately 
after this his anxiety fled. " Mother," said he, " I 
need not fear now to die, for I am washed in my 
Saviour's blood." He believed the promise that if we 
ask we shall receive, and that " whosoever shall call 
upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." 

A girl was weeping at the door of the minister of the 
congregation with which her parents were connected. 
The good pastor found her there, and invited her to 
enter his study. Kindly inquiring the reason of her 
grief, the child replied — " Oh, sir, I have been a great 
sinner all my life. I have lived seven years without 
God and without Christ. Do you think such a sinner 
as I am can be forgiven?" Then the minister ex- 
plained to her the Gospel — that God so loved the 
world as to give His dear Son to die, so that He might 
be able to pardon us, and that whosoever accepts 


Christ as his Saviour from wrath and sin is forgiven at 
once and becomes a child of God. The young in- 
quirer welcomed the good tidings with all her heart. 
She was filled with joy and peace in believing, and 
lived to prove by the training up of a family of her 
own for God, that she had as a little child received the 
grace of God in truth. 

In this receptiveness of their minds and hearts, 
children are really teachers to those of larger growth. 
There are too many who profess to recognise the Bible 
as the message of God to man, but who, nevertheless, 
do not receive its declarations, whether of judgment or 
mercy, as true. They practically believe nothing of 
the wrath which awaits those who neglect salvation, 
and as little do they heed the promises made to the 
lost and undone, if they will but hide in the provided 
refuge. There are many others again, who, when con- 
vinced of sin, refuse to be comforted. Eternal life is 
held out as a free gift, but they hesitate to accept it. 
Perhaps they are not disposed to allow that they ques- 
tion the willingness of the Offerer ; but they are in 
doubt as to whether the gift is actually meant for such 
vile beings as they are, and the result is practically the 
same. Why not receive what is presented to us by 
our Father in heaven ? " My Father giveth you the 
true bread from heaven." " Whosoever wUl, let him 
take the water of life freely." There is no presumption 
then in taking; but it is the height of presumption and 



the blackest ingratitude to continue doubting and 
questioning, and thus in reality putting away from us 
the Saviour, whom God in His love is so earnestly 
urging us to receive. 

Little children are teachable and submissive The 
loving instruction of the father or mother, or even the 
nurse, is, when in a form suited to the infant mind, 
readily attended to. Let a kind parent take his little 
boy by the hand, and the child will go anywhere, 
delighted to be in such honoured company, and 
anxious to please. If even the bitterest medicine be 
presented by a truly afifectionate mother to her little 
one, with a frank explanation of the reason why it 
must be taken, the child will not refuse the potion. 
Sometimes indeed the child will refrain from gulping 
down the draught, however nauseous, and actually sip 
it, as if it were a joy thus to please mamma. 

In spiritual things the same can be said of all God's 
children, whether young or old- Their ears are ready 
to listen to the Father's voice. With the Psalmist 
they pray, " Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes, 
and I shall keep it unto the end ; '* and like the Incar- 
nate Son, it is their meat and drink to do and to bear 
their Father's will. 

A minister who was placed in a district on the west 
coast of Ireland, one Sabbath observed a little boy, 
clad in rags, standing in a passage of his church right 
opposite the pulpit. The child's face betokened the 


greatest solemnityi and eagerness to learn. He seemed 
indeed to be feeding ravenously on the words which 
the good minister uttered regarding the way of salva- 
tion. Sabbath after Sabbath, for some weeks, the 
same earnest listener appeared in the house of God ; 
but he came in always so near the time for beginning 
the service, and left so abruptly at its close, that though 
the clergyman wished to accost him, the opportunity 
of doing so was not afforded. Some time had elapsed 
after the boy's last appearance in church, when a poor 
peasant called one morning on the minister, asking 
him to go and visit his dying child. " It is a long 
rough way over the mountains to my cabin, and I am 
really ashamed to ask you to go so far, sir," said the 
peasant ; " but my child refuses to have any one but 
you. He is altogether an extraordinary boy, and talks 
a great deal about things I do not understand." The 
minister went without delay, in spite of a severe storm 
then raging. After a toilsome and exhausting journey, 
he reached a wretched hut, and there in a corner of 
the hovel, with no bed but some straw, he found his 
little hearer, at the point of death. No sooner did the 
child discover who hsld come, than sitting up and 
stretching forth his arms, he cried, "His own right 
hand hath gotten him the victory." It was the last 
effort of nature, and sinking back he expired. At 
church, six miles away froih the hovel where his father 
dwelt, he had been the ready scholar, and learned in 


whom he should trust for salvation. His final breath 
proclaimed how he was glorying in that Redeemer, to 
whose guiding and teaching he had so eagerly yielded 

It was a fine example of true docility and submission 
which a child exhibited when, having met with a severe 
accident, one of his limbs was about to be amputated. 
His mother was weeping beside him ; but the brave 
little boy looked up, smiling in spite of all his suffering, 
and said, '* It must be all right, dear mamma, for God 
makes no mistakes." 

The proper position for every child of God is sitting, 
with Mary of Bethany, at the feet of Jesus, and hearing 
His word. When learned, its directions will be fol- 
lowed ; and in all circumstances, whether of joy or 
sorrow to the flesh, the child-heart will say, as did the 
only-begotten Son, " Even so. Father ; for so it seemed 
good in thy sight." 

I need not at present dilate on the gentleness^ and 
artiessness, and imitative nature of little children. In 
these features they are types of those who are really 
bom from above. The meekness and gentleness of 
Christ is communicated to all whom He introduces to 
the Father. Hypocrisy is foreign to the new heart — 
for truth in word and deed alone becomes the offspring 
of the God of truth. And in regard to copying their 
Father in heaven, every one of His children labours 
and prays to be perfectly conformed to His image. 


Only one other point craves for a brief notice; namely, 

Little children are confiding. What sweet repose is 
theirs when in their mother's arms, or under their 
father's watchful care! They know in whom they 
trust, and therefore their confidence is unbounded. 
In grief, they flee to the arms which they are assured will 
be open to receive and enfold them in loving embrace. 
In gladness, they delight to tell their joy to the willing 
ears of those whose responsive smiles betoken an 
interest in their happiness. 

It is the same with all who have known the Father 
in Jesus. " Mamma," said a boy of five years of age, 
"what would become of me if father and you were 
both dead?" "Indeed, my dear, I do not know," 
was the mother's answer. " Well, mamma," said the 
child, weeping as he spoke, " if you were both dead, 
God would keep me, and would never let me want. 
I don't know how He would do it ; but I know He 
would never let me want." And quite as trustful was 
another child, a year younger than the one just men- 
tioned. Walking along a dark road with a servant on 
a winter night, the boy exclaimed, " Don't be afraid, 
Betty. The great good Being takes care of us in the 
dark as well as in the light ; by night as well as by 

To go away alone into eternity severely tries the 
strength of the Christian's faith. A girl, not yet seven 


years old, triumphantly bore the test. She had no 
fear when her hour was come. Her elder sister was 
sitting near, and the little invalid asked her to read 
the passage in the New Testament which narrates how 
Christ blessed little children. " How kind P* said the 
dying lamb, when her sister ceased. **I shall now 
soon go to Jesus. He will take me up in His arms, 
and bless me too. No disciple shall keep me away." 

It may be thought by some that the ignorance of 
children makes them bold, where the older and better 
informed would be anxious and afraid. A true know- 
ledge of the grace of God will, however, dispel fear, 
even when a dying believer thoroughly realizes his 
utter sinfulness. A clergyman from London, when on 
a visit to Scotland, called to see a sick friend, whose 
life was ebbing fast. He found his acquaintance in a 
very happy frame. After some serious conversation, 
the dying man, grasping the minister's hand, exclaimed, 
*' Now, sir, I can with as much pleasure take hold of 
death by its cold hand. You may justly wonder at 
this, for I see and believe myself to be utterly un- 
worthy ; but, at the same time, I see Christ to be my 
great propitiation, and faith in His blood gives me ease. 
I see myself all vile and polluted, but I view Jesus as 
the fountain opened, and faith in Him supports me 
under a sense of my vileness." 

Caryl says wisely and well, .** The reason why God 
is trusted so little is because He is so little known." 


Happy then the man who follows the recommendation 
of Eliphaz the Temanite, " Acquaint now thyself with 
him, and be at peace." 

So much for the scholars. Let us glance now at the 
lesson of the apostle of love. 

Abide in Him, To those still outside of the Chris- 
tian family John had other advice ; but to every one 
within that circle these words form the very sum and 
essence of all his teaching. As we might have ex- 
pected, in this brief direction he but follows the 
Master-in-chief. " Abide in me,'* said Jesus ; " con- 
tinue (or abide) ye in my love." 

This abiding involves a continued hiding under the 
covert of Christ's blood and righteousness, by all who 
have fled to Him as their Refuge from wrath and their 
Hope of glory. To whom else can they go ? Where 
else can they repose with assured confidence of safety ? 
Sinners by nature and by practice, they have but the 
one plea — "Christ hath died." Unable to produce 
by all their efforts any service that could satisfy justice 
and merit the blessing of heaven, they must borrow 
the infinitely glorious obedience of Immanuel in which 
to enwrap themselves. Now, and for ever, their en- 
joyment of God's smile depends on their wearing the 
robe of their Redeemer's righteousness — His obedience 
unto death. It cost Him untold labour and incon- 
ceivable agony to produce; yet whosoever will may 
have it as a free gift. What madness to refuse to put 


it on and to hide beneath it ! They who once realize 
its delightful security will dwell for ever under its 
ample folds. 

Purification of heart and life, and strength to walk 
in the way of all God*s commandments, are also re- 
quired ; and these are to be obtained only by abiding 
in Jesus. He is the living head of all believers. 
From Him flows the spiritual life-stream into every 
heart that clings to Him with loving confidence, eflfec- 
tually removing what is diseased and vile out of the 
spiritual nature, and strengthening and quickening it 
to the production of every holy fruit. Over His trust- 
ing people, also, He casts His protecting shield, to 
preserve them from the overwhelming attacks of 
spiritual foes. Cleaving close to .Him, they cannot 
perish, for none can pluck them out of His hand. 

There is no feeling of confinement or restraint in 
this abiding in Christ, but all the happiness of a true 
home. It is in reality neither more nor less than the 
continued reception and enjoyment of all the manifes- 
tations of the Redeemer's unspeakable grace and 
goodness towards those whom He delights to bless, 
all unworthy though they be. " As the Father hath 
loved me, so have I loved you : continue (or abide) 
ye in my love." What is this but saying — ** With, 
infinite, eternal, and unchangeable love, do I regard 
you who hope in Me for salvation. Let the thought 
of this love of Mine satiate your souls. Behold it in My 


birth, My life on earth, My death — all on your behalf. 
Read it in every promise of the Gospel. Think of it, 
speak of it, sing of it, dream of it. When you lie 
down, when you rise up, when at work, when at leisure, 
let it be your unfailing solace and joy, your spring of 
action, your unceasing motive power. In health, let 
the remembrance of My love crown you with gladness. 
In sickness, let it be a downy cushion beneath your 
aching head, ministering sweet repose. In death, let 
it be felt beneath you, as the Everlasting Arms "? 

O ! this is the secret of a happy, holy life — to be 
rooted and grounded in the love of Christ. It is this 
love which will make the kingdom of glory a heaven 
to the ransomed j and the believer who thinks most 
about it, and delights most in it now, enjoys already 
a rich foretaste of the blessedness of those who have 
entered the gates of pearl. 

There is no use in saying " Abide in Christ " to one 
who till now has refused to hide in the Man, who is 
" as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from 
the tempest ; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the 
shadow of a great rock in a weary land." His first 
duty is to flee to the stronghold — to run into the arms 
outstretched in pitying love — to accept the rest and 
peace and eternal safety which the Gospel presses him 
to receive. " Behold, the day cometh that shall bum 
as an oven;" and what will the Christless soul do 
then ? Happy, at that awful hour, the man who has 



learned to sing, with the heart and understanding, the 
glorious melody of David, "• In God is my salvation 
and my glory : the rock of my strength and my refuge 
is in God." 


anb its ^tnHis, 




IN sorrow or in joy, men have found a use for 
bells. When a soul was hasting away into the 
unseen, the passing-bell was wont to announce to the 
neighbourhood the solemn fact; and when, "the 
bitter parting over," a dead body is being carried to 
the narrow house appointed for all living, the tolling 
from the church steeple declares that all flesh is grass, 
and that the healthiest and strongest should prepare 
for the certain change. The merry ringing of bells, 
again, sounds out the gladness of hearts when the 
marriage of people of consequence is celebrated, or 
a national or local event of a happy kind transpires. 

For alarm, nothing is more exciting than the fire- 
bell, at midnight pealing out its dreadful message ; 
and for inviting sweetness, what more delightful than 
Sabbath-bells calling on us to go up into the house of 
the Lord ? 


" Say, how canst thou mourn? 
How canst thou rejoice ? 

Thou art but metal dull I 
And yet all our sorrowings, 
And all our rejoicings. 

Thou dost feel them all I " 

Who invented bells we know not, but probably 
they were devised, at a very early period of the 
world's history, by the musical genius of Jubal, who 
is called, in the fourth chapter of Genesis, ** the 
father of all such as handle the harp and the organ." 
In Holy Writ there are but two special references to 
the use of bells. In the Prophecy of Zechariah, it is 
foretold that in the coming millennial days there is to 
be inscribed upon the bells of the horses ** Holin£ss 
TO THE Lord.'* We find Uttle of this kind of em- 
ployment in our land for such instruments of music ; 
but in a great continental city I have observed almost 
every horse employed for draiight purposes, bearing 
a bell hung below or about his neck, and jingling as 
he trotted along. The prophecy I have referred to 
points to the time — would that it were come ! — ^when 
every kind of traffic shall be carried on in a manner 
becoming the Gospel, and when Jehovah shall be 
recognized as "God over all, blessed for evermore/' 

The other scriptural reference to bells is in the 
description of the dress of the high priest of the 
Jews. (Exodus xxviii. 31, 35.) His outer garment 


was called the ephod. It was a coat most magnifi- 
cently embroidered with gold and blue and purple 
and scarlet, and fine twined linen. Bound round the 
waist with a curious girdle or sash as richly wrought 
as itself, the ephod had above itself, on the breast of 
the high priest, an embroidered square of a similar 
pattern ; and set in gold and fastened on that square, 
were four rows of precious stones, three in each row, 
on which were engraved the names of the twelve 
tribes of Israel The ephod covered only the trunk of 
the high priest's body. Worn underneath was a large 
gamient, reaching down to his knees ; it was caHed 
the robe of the ephod, and was all of blue. Round 
its bottom hem there was a strange fringe, composed 
of a golden bell and the; imitation of a pomegranate, 
time about. The representations of pomegranates 
were made of blue and purple and scarlet wool ; but 
the golden bells were real, and as the high priest went 
about his work, they rang in pleasant harmony. 
Especially was it incumbent on the high priest to 
wear this garment when he went into the holy place. 
As there he discharged the appointed service, the 
sound of the golden bells heard without, attested his 
being alive and active, and accepted in the inter- 
cessory work to which he was appointed. Pleading 
for the people, according to the will of God, the 
worshippers outside were emboldened to send up their 
supplications to Him who dwelt above the mercy-seat, 


when they learned, from the ringing of the golden 
bells on the robe of the ephod, that their advocate 
within the veil was prospering in his appeal on their 

The Mosaic ritual was figurative throughout of tbe 
Gospel dispensation yet to come. In many parts it 
typified the person and the work of the great Hi^h 
Priest, who was to appear and offer up a sacrifice suS- 
cient for the sins of the world. The Jewish high 
priest, especially in his duties and his official dress, 
pictured to faith's eye the Redeemer who was to finish 
transgressions, and make «n end of sin, and bring in 
an everlasting rigtfteousness. Did he enter into hit 
holiest of all with the blood of a victim whose body 
was then being consumed amid the fire on the brazen 
altar ? He spoke of the Messiah who should, in the 
fulness of time, with His own blood enter in once 
for all into the presence of God in heaven, having 
obtained eternal redemption for us. Did he wave the 
golden censer to and fro before the mercy-seat, and 
fill the place of the Divine presence with the perfume 
of sweet incense? He told of the great Intercessor 
who was to present the prayers of all humble suppli- 
cants before the throne on high, smelling sweet with 
the fragrance of His own perfect obedience to the 
death. Did he dress at times only in white ? It was 
a foretelling of the absolute purity of Immanuel, and 
the spotlessness of His life. Did he bedeck himself 


in his beautiful robes? He was prefiguring the 
excellency and unequalled beauty of the Lord our 
Righteousness in the sight of Jehovah. The precious 
stones on the high priest's shoulders, with the names 
of the twelve tribes thereon, exhibited in figure how 
Christ should bear up with His almighty strength all 
who are His people ; while the breastplate, with the 
same twelve names on its twelve jewels, was a pro- 
phecy of the infinite grace of the great Mediator, 
bearing on His very heart every one that hopes in Him. 

What meant then the golden bell and the pome- 
granate, time about, fringing all round the hem of 
the robe of the ephod ? The sound of these bells 
was very pleasant to the worshippers in the court of 
the tabernacle or temple of Israel, telling as they did 
of the advocate within the veil, who was acting for 
them and prevailing according to the will of God. 
We have a better High Priest, one who can never die, 
and who, having entered into heaven itself, now 
appears in the presence of God for us. And may we 
not well believe that the golden bells on His robe are 
those melodious declarations of love and those allur- 
ing promises which give life and gladness to the soul, 
and which have all their value and significance only 
as they are connected with Him who is the substitute 
and surety of sinners, and whose blood cleanseth from 
all sin ? 

If the joyful sounds of grace to sinners were pre- 


figured by the golden bells on the robe of the ephod^ 
we shall not err greatly in supposing that the pome* 
granates were t3rpes of the results which always follow 
a right hearing of the sweet melody of the golden 
bells. As every golden bell was followed by its 
pomegranate, so every Gospel message is, wheu 
welcomed, succeeded by its appropriate fruit. The 
pomegranate is not only beautiful to the eye, but 
richly luscious to the taste, and full of seed to extend 
the blessings already possessed by itself. So with the 
fruits of grace. Not one of them but is lovely to the 
sight of God and man. In themselves refreshing and 
delightful, they carry spiritual seeds for propagation of 
the same rich joy which they enwrap. Blessed, they 
give forth blessing: just as on the other hand the 
fruits of sin are cursed, and scatter seeds to spread 
the destructive malady all around. 

Let us hearken to the tinkle of some of the golden 
bells upon our great High Priest's robe, and observe 
the fruits which follow. The melody of the whole 
combined is love, — sovereign, rich, and free; but every 
one of them is articulate, and sounds out its own 
special message of tender grace. Every one therefore 
produces its own particular fruit; though truly, like 
the pomegranates on Aaron's garment, they have to 
God's eye, as it were, but one appearance : love in the 
creature, answering again to the manifestations of love 
' by the Father of all 


Faith Cometh by Hearing, — A young man, a pri- 
vate teacher in the South of England, had become 
anxious about his soul^ His anxiety was deepened 
by the question put by a friend, "Are you a 
Christian ? " He thought he had a right to answer, 
**Yes," because he had been baptized, and was 
a regular attendant at church. His friend tried to 
undeceive him, and showed him that unless he was 
truly a believer in Jesus, the Redeemer of the soul 
frcJm wrath and from sin, there was no safety for him. 
Days and weeks passed by. The gloom thickened 
around him. He realized that he was yet without 
Christ, without God, and therefore without hope. He 
went to church, but his mind was absorbed with his 
own misery. He prayed, but reUef came not to his 
wounded conscience, and he knew not how to escape 
from the horror of great darkness which hung around 
him. At length his spiritual ear caught a sound, as he 
was reading in the fifty-third of Isaiah. It was the 
ringing of one of the golden bells on the robe of the 
Great High Priest ; and sweeter far than any melody 
of earth did the words seem to him : " He was 
wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for 
our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was 
upon him, and with his stripes we are healed." In 
a moment he understood that Jesus had died for sin- 

* The facts are taken from Tract No. 62 of the Monthly Tract 


ners : the one, perfect, and all-sufficient Sacrifice ; and 
as his mental eye was turned to behold Him on whose 
robe the golden bells are ever ringing, he forgot his 
fear; he was absorbed in the contemplation of love 
and grace Divine ; he cast his soul on the Saviour. 
Then another bell rang in his ear ; a counterpart of 
the first sweet utterance of grace : " Being justified by 
faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord 
Jesus Christ." Ah, those bells have been sounding 
in his ear, more or less distinctiy, ever since. Some- 
times, when the din and the bustle of earth for a litde 
dull their sound, he no doubt becomes faint and 
weary ; but he has only to stop the outer and open 
the inner ear to obtain reviving and strength. When 
those two golden bells which first calmed his troubled 
heart are heard again, clear and distinct, his step 
heavenward becomes firm, his eye brightens, the joy 
of his spirit is seen on his countenance, and his voice 
echoes the melody in the words, " Who shall separate 
me from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or 
distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or 
peril, or sword ? Nay, in all these things we are more 
than conquerors, through Him that loved us. I am 
persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor 
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor 
things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other 
creature, shall be able to separate me from the love of 
God which is in Christ Jesus my Lord.** 


ZeaJ and Courage added to Faith,* — ^A missionary 
had long toiled among a tribe of the savages of South 
Africa. Shut out from fellowship with all Christians, 
in a barren and miserable country, where he had often 
to employ the "fasting girdle" (a tight bandage round 
the stomach) to mitigate the gnawings of hunger, his 
endurance was severely tested. But later on in his 
history came a more fearful and trying crisis. Rain 
had been long withheld, and gaunt famine stalked 
through the land. Hundreds died, and hundreds 
more crawled about like living skeletons, digging roots 
or trying to seize worms and other creeping things for 
food, in order to sustain their fast-flagging life. The 
priests of the heathen declared that the want of rain 
was occasioned by the residence among them of the 
servant of Christ. A chief and twelve attendants 
appeared before the missionary, and ordered him and 
his to leave the place at once, or violent measures would 
be employed to make him. Behind the missionary 
stood at the moment his wife, with an infant in her 
arms. Her husband quailed not : he boldly faced the 
armed band, and calmly replied, " We were unwilling 
to leave you. We are now resolved to stay at oui 
post. As for your threats, we pity you, for you know 
not what you do. We have suffered, it is true, and 
the Master whom we serve has said in His Word, 

* The materials for this and the two succeeding illustrations 
were obtained from " A Life's Labours in South Africa." 


'When they persecute you in one city, flee ye to 
another.' But though we have suffered, we do not 
consider that what has been done to us amounts to 
persecution. It is no more than we are prepared to 
expect from those who know no better. If resolved to 
get rid of us, you must take stronger measures to suc- 
ceed, for oiu: hearts are with you. You may shed my 
blood, or you may bum our dwelling. As for me, my 
decision is made. / will not leave your country,** 
Baring then his breast, and fearlessly confronting 
them, he added, " Now then if you will, drive your 
spears to my heart, and when you have slain me, my 
companions will know that the hour is come for them 
to depart." The savages were astonished. They 
could not execute their purpose : they fek that the 
doctrines which the missionary preached must be 

And what could sustain the bold, unflinching cour- 
age which quailed not at such a trying moment ? Only 
the sound of the bells on the robe of the heavenly 
Intercessor. " Fear not, for I am with thee ; be not 
dismayed, for I am thy God. I will never leave thee 
nor forsake thee!" So rang the chimes in Robert 
Moffat's ear, and he feared not though thousands ten 
should set themselves against him. For fifty-two years 
he marched and toiled in Africa to the sweet music 
flowing from the skirt of his Master's robe ; and still 
he is labouring, imder the same cheering inspiration, 


with the view of sending out to the scene of his life- 
work a complete edition of the Scriptures, in one of the 
languages most extensively prevalent there. 

Lave to the Brethren, — In one of the same mission- 
ary's early journeys in Africa; he and his companions 
were sorely distressed for want of food and water. 
After a toilsome day they had arrived at a heathen 
village ; but neither appeals to the compassion of the 
inhabitants, nor the oflfer of what little payment they 
could make, could procure the slightest relief. Nay, 
the missionaries were ordered not to come near the 
village itself; and, exposed to wild beasts, — hungry, 
thirsty, and weary, — they were compelled to remain 
in the open field. At sunset they observed a woman 
approaching. She carried a bunch of sticks on her 
head, and a vessel of milk in her hand. These she 
laid down beside the strangers, and hasted away. 
Speedily she approached again with a cooking vessel 
on her head ; in the one hand a leg of mutton, and in 
the other a pot of water. Kindling the fire, she put 
on the meat, and prepared a meal for the travellers. 
Not a word had she spoken all this time; but at 
length, in answer to the loving questions of the grate- 
ful strangers, she said, with tears running down her 
face, " I love Him whose servants ye are, and surely 
it is my duty to give you a cup of cold water in His 
name. My heart is fiiU, and therefore I cannot speak 


the joy I ieel to see you in this out of the world 
place." This poor African woman was the only 
Christian in that heathen village. When a child, her 
tribe had been sojourning near a Dutch settlement in 
the Cape Colony. There she had found her way to a 
school, and learned to read Dutch. The teacher had 
presented her with a Dutch New Testament ; and 
though she had been constrained by her people a 
number ot years before to remove with them far from 
any European habitation, the truth as it is in Jesus 
was the comfort of her life. The New Testament she 
always carried about in her bosom. Drawing it thence 
as she told her history, she said, " This is the fountain 
whence I drink ; this the oil which makes my lamp 

It is delightful to the follower of the Lamb to hear 
of such a hidden one hearkening continually to the 
joyful sound, and walking in the light of the Lord's 
countenance while all around her were sitting in the 
very shadow of death. It was the bells on the Great 
High Priest's robe which first attracted her heart and 
ever after sustained her, filling her with love to all her 
Master's friends. " God so loved the world that he 
gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth 
in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 
This sweet sound drew her after Jesus ; and then she 
heard another bell ringing : it said, ** Love one 
another, as I have loved you." Her heart, possessed 


by the love of her Grod and Redeemer, could not but 
obey; and as she laid her gifts at the feet of the 
bretliren of Jesus, still another gladdening tinkle met 
her ear : " Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of 
the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto 


Peace and yoy in Death. — If happy hope, and un- 
flinching boldness, and devoted love are awakened in 
human hearts by the ringing of the bells of which we 
are speaking, their notes are likewise enough to sustain 
the soul in the trpng hour of death. Dr. Moffat tells 
of another African woman, who was fast hastening to 
her last home on earth, "Calling together her husband 
and their friends, she said, ' Behold, I am going to 
die ! ' Some started, others wept. * Weep not,' she 
said, ' because I am about to leave you ; but weep for 
your own sins and your own souls. With me all is 
well. Do not suppose that I die like a beast, to sleep 
for ever in the grave. No : Jesus has died for my 
sins ; He has promised to save me, and I am going to 
be with Him.' " 

Not less confident was the utterance of Hornel, a 
French Protestant pastor, who suffered martyrdom in 
1683. For forty-four hours had he been tortured 
because of his unflinching confession of Christ. Every 
limb, every bone of his body had been jDroken, but he 
would not deny his Master. It was demanded of him 



whether he would acknowledge himself a Roman 
Catholic. Boldly he answered : " How, my Lords ! 
Had it been my design to have changed my religion, 
I would have done it before my bones had been 
thus broken in pieces. I wait only for the hour of 
my dissolution. Courage, courage, O my soul ! 
Thou shalt presently enjoy the delights of heaven." 
Shortly before the executioner relieved him from his 
agony by a death-stroke with his sword, the martyr 
turned his eyes towards his wife, who had been per- 
mitted to approach. " Farewell once more, my well- 
beloved spouse," said he ; " but know that though 
you may see my bones broken to shivers, my soul is 
replenished with inexpressible joys." 

What could bear up the spirit under death in any 
form, but more especially under such dreadful anguish 
as Homel and other martyrs for Christ have endured, 
save the sound of certain bells on the robe of the 
Royal Priest at God's right hand ? One of them rings 
out clearly this reassuring word : " Father, I will that 
they also whom thou hast given me be with me 
where I am, that they may behold my glory, which 
thou hast given me ; for thou lovedst me before the 
foundation of the world." And another answers, 
"Let not your heart be troubled. In my Father's 
house are many mansions ; if it were not so, I would 
have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And 
if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again. 


and receive you unto myself; that where I am there 
ye may be also." 

Such cordials as these sweet words, heard by the 
ear of faith, excite a joyful expectancy in the soul, 
and buoy it up even amidst the waves of Jordan. 
And if, when all personal fears have thus been dissi- 
pated, there are anxieties about those to be left behind 
widowed and fatherless, there is a bell of which the 
sound once realized, dispels all such distress : '* Leave 
thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive ; and 
let thy widows trust in me." Often have I heard from 
the lips of one, who is now herself for ever at rest 
on the bosom of her Saviour-God, of the last hours of 
her mother. There were gathered round the couch a 
large family, mostly very young. The dying one had 
indeed been a model manager, devoted to her children, 
and toiling unceasingly for their welfare. Long had 
she trusted in and loved her Redeemer, and walked 
in the light of His countenance. When, however, the 
last trouble came upon her, and hope of recovery had 
to be abandoned, though ready to depart so far as she 
herself was concerned, the thought of her dear babes, 
and their future without a mother, sorely burdened her 
heart. The struggle was severe but not long. Perfect 
peace soon again reigned within. It was the sound 
of this bell on the Great High Priest's robe that calmed 
her perturbed soul. With tenderest kisses and words 
of blessing she bade each little one farewell, not a tear 


fouling her cheek ; and then she calmly laid her down, 
and breathed out her soul into the hands of Him who 
had promised to preserve her, and those whom He 
called her to leave for a time behind. 

Comfort to the Bereaved, — ^Whoever has hung over 
a grave's mouth and heard the dull rattle of the earth 
as it fell and covered up the remains of a beloved 
relative, can comprehend the need of consolation at 
< such a painful moment. Ah, there I have seen a 
strong man weep who never wept before ; and when 
all was over, and it was needful to return to the 
desolate hearth, what a bitterness was life, bereft of all 
that could render it a joy 1 At such an hour, there is 
only one instrument of music that can be endured, — 
only one that can dispel the horror of great darkness 
brooding over the soul,— it is the «hime of bells on 
Christ's garment, speaking of immortality and resur- 
rection and the glory of the redeemed. Hearken to 
the symphony : ** Thy brother, thy sister, thy father, 
thy mother, thy wife, thy husband, thy son, thy 
daughter, shall rise again. I am the resurrection and 
the life : he that believeth in me, though he were 
dead, yet shall he live : and whosoever liveth and 
believeth in me shall never die. Fear not : I am the 
first and the last : I am he that liveth, and was dead, 
and behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen; and 
have the keys of death and of the unseen world. 


Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. They 
hunger no more, neither thirst any more ; neither doth 
the Sim light on them, nor any heat The Lamb 
which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, 
and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters ; 
and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.** 

As the heart listens to this sweet melody, its pain is 
soothed, its empty aching removed. The thought of 
the happiness of the departed becomes a comfort to 
the one left behind. Murmuring is changed into 
resignation ; the bitterness of parting into the antici- 
pation of a joyful re-union; and the traveller girds 
himself again for his journey heavenward, — ^lonely 
somewhat, but not without consolation, because of 
the cheering notes which fall from the fringe of the 
great Intercessor's robe. 

It was the sounding of these bells, telling of immor- 
tality and unfading joys, which led one to say, as he 
gazed on the cold, marble-like face of his dearest 
earthly friend, ** Though the turning of a straw would 
recall him to life on earth, I would not turn that 
straw.'* Another declared that the delight which he 
experienced, as he listened to these bells on the 
morning after a dear son had breathed his liast, was so 
great, that if he had had children to lose, he would 
willingly have parted with one every week to obtain 
such heavenly comfort. And assuredly if faith's ear 
were unstopped, and on the alert to catch the notes, 


how often would the bereaved Christian be like the 
Highland mother, who, singing the high praises of 
God, helped to carry the body of her drowned boy 
into her now childless home ! 

Conclusion, — Every bell has, as we have seen, its 
appropriate fruit, and there are bells to meet every need 
and every sorrow of life, and to make them productive 
of results glorifying to the Lord and good to man. 

Here is one over-burdened with anxieties, arising 
from the pressure of family responsibilities and fears 
as to his own or his children's future. He catches 
the notes of one clear-ringing bell, which says, **Cast 
all your care upon him, for he careth for you;" and 
the peace of God, passing all understanding, enters in 
and keeps his heart and mind. 

Another is bowed down under a succession of dis- 
asters, and is crying, almost in despair, " Hath God 
forgotten to be gracious?" He liears a low sweet 
melody from the bells : " For a small moment have I 
forsaken thee, but with great mercies will J gather 
thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be 
removed ; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, 
neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, 
saith the Lord, that hath mercy on thee." Like oil 
on heaving billows fall these words on his agitated 
spirit, and lo, there is a great calm. 

A third is peevish and irritable, ready to take re- 


venge, or apt to say harsh things, that rankle long in 
the minds of others. A bell, thrilling because of its 
unearthly tenderness, is heard, saying, " Walk in love, 
as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself 
for us.*' And the meekness and gentleness of Christ 
steals into the heart, and there is a Sabbath in the 
soul and soft words on the tongue. 

Selfishness tempts another. He shuts up his bowels 
of compassion. He grasps all he can for himself, and 
is unhappy in the indulgence of his greed. He is told 
of the unspeakable gift, and embraces his Redeemer ; 
and as he lays hold of the "rich Almighty Friend," 
he hears a bell on His garment, which declares, '' It 
is more blessed to give than to receive." The churl 
becomes liberal, and enters in a measure into the very 
joy of his Maker, the bountiful giver of every good 
and perfect gift 

At times the believer in Jesus grows slack in the 
heavenward race, and feels the power of temptation to 
slumber or to wander. What shall rouse and nerve 
him that he may hasten on to the goal and win the 
crown ? Let him but hear the bell which reminds us 
that ** His own self bare our sins in his own body on 
the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto 
righteousness;" and the love of his dear Redeemer 
quickens the pulses of his affections, and casting oft 
every weight, he arises and follows Christ. Or let him, 
as his strength is flagging, hear that other divinely 





musical and quickening utterance, '' To him that over- 
cometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne/' and 
his feet become ''swift as the hinds/' and bound on- 
wards in the difficult «pward way. 

Provideace with some may seem to be adverse : 
friends may be rapidly disappearing ; disease may be 
weakening the frame, and the world be really receding 
fast ; but if they with the ear of faith hearken to the 
bell which speaks of '' Jesus Christ the same yester- 
day, to-day, and for ever,*' they will have reason to 
triumph in the darkest hour. Whatever, indeed, may 
befall the humble believer, he has this one all-com- 
forting bell, this effective charm to dispel gloom and 
drive off heart-trouble. Possessing Jesus, he has every 
spiritual blessing ; and by His almighty power, Jesus 
will make " all things work together for his good'* 

Sad, beyond all words to describe, is the state of 
the man who has not received the Saviour's love into 
his heart of hearts. Whatever else may have been 
attained, he is in jeopardy every hour. To die with- 
out a living union to Christ is to perish eternally. But 
the Redeemer is knocking still at the door. He is 
beseeching sinners to accept Him as their salvatioa 
When there is joy in the presence of the angels of 
God over their yielding to Christ, there will follow joy 
in their own souls, — a joy that will increase for ever. 
They will understand the sweetness of that bell on 
their trusted High Priest's robe, which tolls out the 



gladdening notes :*" He is able to save unto the utter- 
most all that come unto Go# by him, seeing he ever 
liveth to make intercession for them." 

In the case of all who have really closed with the 
Saviour's gracious offer, the pomegranates in good 
time grow — the fruits of the Spirit assuredly appear. 
. They spring, they flourish however, only as the bells 
are heard, — as the love, and grace, and precious pro- 
mises of the Lord are realized. Often ought the 
believer to listen to the sweet melodies, and satiate 
his soul with the music of these golden bells. Love> 
joy, and peace, long-suffering, gentleness, and good- 
ness will then grow apace upon him ; and his Father 
in Jesus will be glorified, because he bears much 


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